The longtime artistic director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Steven Woolf, died Monday (July 12, 2021) after a short illness, The Rep announced Tuesday. Woolf was 75.
The Rep, led by Managing Director Mark Bernstein and Augustin Family Artistic Director Hana Sharif, issued a statement Tuesday saying, “We are honored to have played a small part in Steve’s enduring legacy.”
Woolf took on the job of artistic director of The Rep in 1986. His biggest task was to stabilize the theatre both financially and artistically, and in the following decades, he built The Rep into a thriving organization. He retired in 2017.
According to The Rep, Woolf brought more than 300 shows to The Rep stages, and he directed dozens of shows himself. Among those shows were “Arcadia,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Red,” “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Oslo.”
Woolf won many honors, culminating in Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Arts and Education Council and Arts for Life.
When Woolf retired, he said: “It’s not often you get to live your dream, but I’ve been able to do just that at The Rep. My life’s work has been about the theatre, and making it all come together has been a grand experience. Our theatre has had major successes and some bumps in the road. But through it all, I’ve had fun – it’s too hard a gig not to have fun. I am wildly proud to have been a part of the collective effort that has built our institution into a community leader.”
The Rep officials said Tuesday, “He was an artist, an icon and a dreamer through and through. The Rep family is saddened by the loss of our longtime leader. We will miss you, our wonderful friend.”