Artist Profiles

Malcolm Ewen


Malcolm Ewen, June 1954 – May 2019

Malcolm Ewen worked at Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 1987–2019. A beloved colleague, friend and long-time Stage Manager for the theater, Malcolm passed after a long battle with cancer in May 2019.

Malcolm was truly the best of us. Welcoming every actor and artist through our doors, he carried the originating spirit of ensemble, embodied it and passed it along to each production that had the good fortune of Malcolm at the helm. He was the keeper of the time and the schedule and the stories and our sanity—remembering our history and living it and making certain that we didn’t leave it behind. He dedicated himself entirely to his work and went about it with grace and with humor and with, above all else, a deep respect for and love of the people who joined him in creating it.  

Malcolm stage managed Steppenwolf’s production of Born Yesterday with John Mahoney and Glenne Headly. The following season, Mal stage managed Steppenwolf’s production of The Grapes of Wrath—beginning in Chicago, traveling to La Jolla, then to London and finally to Broadway where it won the Tony Award for Best New Play. Over his 32 years with the company, Malcolm stage managed more than 40 shows and has taken four Steppenwolf productions to Broadway—including our first collaboration with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and most recently, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which again won the Tony Award.

He has been at the helm of Steppenwolf shows that transferred to the Royal National Theatre in London; His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth, Australia; The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and many regional theaters. 

In addition to his work at Steppenwolf, Malcolm was a Founding Director of The Weston Playhouse in Vermont, spending each summer directing for and running the award-winning regional theater nationally known for its multi-stage summer repertory season. 

He was the 2014 recipient of the Robert Christen Award for Technical Collaboration presented by the Michael Merritt Awards and, in 2018, he received the Del Hughes Award for lifetime achievement in stage management given by the Stage Manager’s Association of the United States. 

A lifetime advocate for actors' and stage managers' equitable treatment in the workplace, Malcolm was proud to serve on the Council of Actors’ Equity Association, diligently fighting for the rights of his fellow union members. Malcolm was also a proud long-serving board member for Season of Concern and helped many theaters raise money during his time Stage Managing.

In addition to his theater family, Malcolm is survived by his brother William Ewen, sister Camilla Durbin and five nephews and nieces. Malcolm's life-long passion in theater began in junior high school and continued through New Trier High School and Amherst College. His wonderful spirit will be missed by so many.