Neighborhood News

Martha Lavey, February 1957 – April 2017

Posted on April 26, 2017

We are very sad to report that Martha Lavey, ensemble member and former Steppenwolf Artistic Director, has passed away due to complications from a stroke suffered last Wednesday, April 19. This stroke was in addition to the debilitating stroke she suffered in May of 2015, and from which she had been struggling to recover. She spent her last days as she lived, in the company and comfort of family, ensemble members and people who love her deeply.

Described by Chris Jones at the Chicago Tribune as “an indefatigable, unstinting and intellectually voracious artistic director,” Martha Lavey served as Steppenwolf’s Artistic Director for more than 20 years. Her commitment to Steppenwolf and the Chicago theater community was boundless. She was a beloved presence in Lincoln Park providing guidance, support and an artistic home to countless aspiring artists.

In a letter to audiences and friends, Steppenwolf shared her impact stating, “As faithful friends, audience members, donors, staff, artists, mentees and members of the Steppenwolf community, we were all indelibly impacted by Martha’s passion, commitment, vision and unmatched intellect. Martha cared deeply for each and every one of us-no matter our relationship to her or the theatre. She will be dearly missed.”

Chicago Tribune reports that “an informal gathering will be held Wednesday, April 26 at 4:00 p.m. in Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Front Bar, 1700 N. Halsted St. Services will be in Vienna, Virginia, according to Steppenwolf’s announcement signed by Shapiro and executive director David Schmitz, with a memorial to be held at the theater on a date to be announced. Steppenwolf is asking for those with ‘a memory or a thought about Martha’ to contribute them here.”

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