Brad DeFabo Akin

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Brad DeFabo Akin is a director, actor, and educator with a passion for new play development and advocacy. A Steep ensemble member since 2005, Brad’s directing credits with the company include Samuel D Hunter’s The Few, Linda McLean’s strangers, babies, David Eldridge’s Under The Blue Sky, Emily Mann’s Greensboro: A Requiem, Terry Johnson’s Insignificance, Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days. As an actor, he has appeared on Steep’s stage in Hamish Linklater’s The Cheats, Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses, Jez Butterworth’s The Night Heron, and Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy. Outside of Steep, Brad’s directing credits include Lucy Thurber’s Where We’re Born (Steppenwolf Garage), Bekah Brunstetter’s OOHRAH! (LiveWire), Scott T. Barsotti’s The Revenants (WildClaw), and Sam Holcroft’s Edgar & Annabel (Poor Theatre). Brad served as Steep’s Literary Manager from 2005 to 2016, leading it in it’s long-term commitment to develop new plays and introduce new playwrights to Chicago audiences. Currently, Brad serves as the Executive Director of Step Up Chicago Playwrights, where he’s working to change the narrative around Chicago by supporting new plays that tell the full story of who we are as a city. You can learn more about Step Up at: For more information on Brad, visit