Steppenwolf honors Annette Bening and Sherry Lansing

Steppenwolf Theatre Company to honor Tony Award and two-time Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Annette Bening and trailblazing leader in the film industry Sherry Lansing as the 2021 Women in the Arts honorees.

For the 11th anniversary of this beloved event, the honorees join Steppenwolf ensemble member Carrie Coon for a live conversation about their award-winning careers and their impact as leaders in the field, Tuesday, June 22 at 12:30pm CT.

Hosted as a virtual event this year, Women in the Arts will be free and open to the public for the first time, available to stream via Steppenwolf’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Advance reservation are encouraged but not required. (See below.)

Q&A will follow the conversation and guests are invited to submit questions for the honorees when they make a reservation for the event.

Annette Bening has had an expansive career starring on stage and screen, becoming a household name. Trained in the theater, Bening recently acted in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, alongside Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts, earning her a Tony nomination. Appearing in more than 40 films, Bening is known for her roles in American Beauty, 20th Century Women, The Kids Are Alright and The Grifters, among others. 

Throughout her 30-year career in the movie industry, Sherry Lansing has been involved in more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump, Braveheart and Titanic. She made history as the first woman to head a major film studio when she was appointed president of 20th Century Fox in 1980. Additionally, from 1992-2005, Lansing led Paramount Pictures as Chairman and CEO to creative and financial success. In 2005, she founded the Sherry Lansing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities. Lansing’s full bio can be found below. 

The Women in the Arts event, traditionally held as a luncheon, began as a way to bring together Chicago’s business and civic communities in celebration of innovators across the performing arts. Since its inception in 2010, the event has raised more than $1.3 million for Steppenwolf Education and the School at Steppenwolf, as well as the Professional Leadership Program, providing apprenticeships, fellowships and internships for the next generation of arts managers and producers. 

Previous honorees include ensemble members Joan AllenLaurie Metcalf and Martha Plimpton, along with Claire DanesDanai GuriraJuliette LewisJulianna MarguliesMargo Martindale, Julianne NicholsonMary-Louise ParkerSarah Paulson and Phylicia Rashad.

Co-chairs of the 11th Anniversary Women in the Arts luncheon are Anne & Don Phillips, Cari & Michael Sacks and Helen Zell. Lead sponsors are Allstate Foundation, Exelon, Grosvenor Capital Management, Anne & Don Phillips and Helen Zell. Additional support has been provided by Illinois Tool Works Foundation, The Orlebeke Foundation, Cari B. & Michael J. Sacks, Lynn Lockwood Murphy, Chris and Eileen Murphy, PNC, Smithburg Family Foundation, Steppenwolf Associates and United Airlines.


Ticket Information

The event is free to attend and will not be ticketed but RSVPs are encouraged. For more information and to RSVP, visit HERE.


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