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Repertory Theatre's longtime artistic director Steven Woolf dies at 75

Woolf died Monday after an illness left him hospitalized. He was 75.
Credit: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
Steven Woolf, the longtime artistic director of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, died Monday, July 12. He was 75.

ST. LOUIS — Steven Woolf, the longtime artistic director of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, died Monday after an illness left him hospitalized. He was 75.

Woolf led more than 300 different shows onto the Rep's stages over his 33 years as artistic director before retiring in May 2019.

“Steve always had his finger on the pulse of the St. Louis community, programming plays that resonated in the here and now, and showcasing the work of outstanding directors, designers and actors,” Mark Bernstein, managing director at the Rep, said in a statement. “St. Louis audiences responded by filling the seats, night after night, week after week, year after year.”

His career came with a wide variety of accolades, including the St. Louis Arts Awards for Individual Excellence in the Arts and Lifetime Achievement in the Arts from the Arts and Education Council, and the Rep won the Missouri Citizens for the Arts award for Advocacy.

In addition to his work in professional theatre, Woolf was on the faculty of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School under John Houseman and later served as an adjunct faculty member at Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts.

He served as a panelist and an on-site evaluator for the theater program for the National Endowment for the Arts and served on the advisory panel for the Regional Arts Commission and the ad hoc committees for program assistance and touring for the Missouri Arts Council.

He is survived by a brother, Tom Woolf, who lives in Florida. A memorial service will be held at a later date.