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Directors compare notes on Chicago theatre in personal chat

Tony Award-winning directors Frank Galati and Anna D. Shapiro will take center stage in a free-wheeling discussion titled “Chicago Directs” Monday, April 23, at Northwestern University.

Steppenwolf Theatre artistic director and Northwestern alumna Martha Lavey will moderate the up-close-and-personal chat between Galati — a three-time Northwestern alumnus with two Tony Awards and an Academy Award to his credit — and Shapiro, a Northwestern theatre professor who won a Tony in 2008 for her direction of “August Osage County.”

The 4:30 p.m. event will take place in Annie May Swift Hall, 1920 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus. Hosted by the Sarah Siddons Society and Northwestern’s theatre department, it is free to Northwestern faculty and students who reserve tickets in advance by e-mailing Tickets for the general public are $20 and available at (847) 446-4140.

Galati, now professor emeritus in performance studies at Northwestern, won Tony Awards for best play and best direction of a play in 1990 for his dramatic adaptation of “The Grapes of Wrath.” A member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company and associate director at Goodman Theatre, he most recently adapted E.L. Doctorow’s “The March” for Steppenwolf.

Shapiro, the Marjorie Hoffman Hagan, Class of 1934, Chair in Theatre in the School of Communication, won the 2008 Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle directing awards as well as the Tony Award for her direction of Tracy Letts’ “August Osage County.” She was nominated for the Tony Award last year for her direction of “The Motherf**cker With the Hat.”

The Sarah Siddons Society, a non-profit organization promoting excellence in theatre, annually gives out awards to Chicago area actors and scholarships to theatre students at Northwestern and other local universities.

“Our goal is to give the public and our own students and faculty an opportunity to get to know these two important Chicago directors,” said Dominick Missimi, emeritus professor of music theatre at Northwestern’s School of Communication and the new executive director of the Sarah Siddons Society.