Steppenwolf Salutes Women in the Arts Honoring Mary Louise Parker


Accomplished Actress Mary-Louise Parker has stayed in the game for over two decades, collecting two Golden Globes, an Emmy and a Tony along the way. Earning her due, Ms. Parker will be honored at the Fourth Annual Luncheon “Women in the Arts” hosted by Steppenwolf Theatre on Monday, March 4, at the JW Marriott Chicago. Festivities begin at 11:30AM with a VIP Registration (tickets $500 each) following with a 12:00 luncheon and conversation (tickets $250 each). Steppenwolf Artistic Director Martha Lavey will lead a lively discussion highlighting Ms. Parker’s career and achievements.

Winning numerous awards for acting on stage, in film and on television, what does Ms. Parker’s love doing the most? “I love the process of theatre the most,” she says. “The ritual of it all is a working class attitude. You come to work no matter what, even if you are tired or sick. It is taxing in many ways, but magical, because there is no safety net. I have the best sense of accomplishment when I do theatre.”

Aside from Ms. Parker’s acting career, she’s also a single mom to William, 9 years old, and Caroline “Ash” Aberash, 6 years old. “Being a mother is the hardest job in the world, but the most rewarding,” she says. And on top of all that, Ms. Parker spends her spare time working as a Contributing Writer for Esquire.

Ms. Parker adopted her daughter from Ethiopia and said that it forever changed her life. She highly recommends the documentary The Thing That Happened.

“The Thing That Happened is a 22-minute documentary short that profiles the Hope North Secondary and Vocational school on northern Uganda. Hope North struggles on a shoe-string budget to provide a home and an education for children displaced by the civil war between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UDPF) The students are a mix of former child soldiers, orphans and the abjectly poor. Mitigating the horrific effects of the war and focusing them on their future is a monumental task.”

Proceeds from Steppenwolf’s Women in the Arts Luncheon support training for the next generation of young leaders in the arts. Steppenwolf empowers future artists and audiences by producing two full-scale productions for teens and providing in-class and afterschool workshops through Steppenwolf for Young Adults, and offering hands-on, intensive training for actors and young arts administrators.


About Cindy Burns

Currently writing for TCW's 'Woman About Town' column, Cindy Burns covers Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, and interviews women and men who are making a difference in the world. With an M.A. in American History from DePaul University, Ms. Burns is an author, freelance writer, avid reader and researcher. Ms. Burns has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and the Women's Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She is also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. When Ms. Burns isn't running around Chicago covering current events, you can find her biking, on the tennis courts, or hiking in a mountainous region of her choice.