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Katy Sullivan Does it again! Her critically acclaimed performance in 'Richard III' has broken down MAJOR barriers at the Chicago Shakespeare

As if Katy Sullivan’s bio isn't impressive enough, she’s about to add another accomplishment when she becomes the first woman with a disability to play the title role in a major U.S. production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” She is a bilateral above-knee amputee and leads the cast of Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s upcoming production.

Katy originated the role of Ani in Martyna Majok’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Cost of Living,” starring in productions off-Broadway and in Los Angeles and London. When she reprised the role on Broadway in 2022, she received a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Although “Richard III” marks her Chicago Shakespeare debut, she is no stranger to the city. After graduating from Webster University, she followed a mentor’s advice to start her professional career in Chicago’s strong theater community. She worked as an assistant director and casting intern at the Goodman Theatre in 2003. She then went on to perform in its 2010 world premiere of “The Long Red Road,” and appeared in Northlight Theatre’s 2004 production of “Lady Windermere’s Fan.”

Being back in Chicago now “feels like coming home in a lot of ways,” Sullivan told the Tribune in a recent interview. Although she often travels for work, she recently bought a house here with her husband, Scott Aiello, who is also in the cast of “Richard III.” “I made friends that are still here that I’ve reconnected with,” Sullivan said. “It is a community of people that stick around because the work here is so great.”


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