Barbara Gaines

AGE: 65
OCCUPATION: Artistic director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Gaines’s drive and networking skills have made the theatre she founded in 1986 a hub for cutting-edge international acts and a home for the city’s best drama veterans. She directs Ian McDiarmid, who played the Star Wars villain Emperor Palpatine, in Timon of Athens, opening April 24.

MORE ON GAINES: Lyric Opera Opens Season with "Macbeth"

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Photograph: Peter Bosy