Chicago Theatre Mourns The Passing of Martha Lavey

Chicago theatre has lost a pioneer. Martha Lavey, ensemble member and former Steppenwolf Artistic Director, passed away today due to complications from a stroke suffered last Wednesday, April 19, Steppenwolf Theatre Company Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz confirmed in a statement this afternoon. She was 60.

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. 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,” Shapiro and Schmitz wrote. “If you have a memory or a thought about Martha, please share your story with us. Comments will be collected and shared with Martha’s family and the community.”

Lavey saw the premiere of Tracy Letts‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and SUPERIOR DONUTS during her long and influential tenure at Steppenwolf.

Services for Martha will be held near her parent’s home in Vienna, Virginia, at St Mark Catholic Church. A memorial to celebrate her life and her impact on Steppenwolf and the Chicago community will be held at Steppenwolf, with a date and time to be determined.