A Discussion with Carey Perloff
Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 4:15pm
Alumnae Hall Ruth Nagel Jones Foyer (100D)
Carey Perloff, Artisitic Director of the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, speaks of her professional journey and the role of theatre in today's world.
Perloff is celebrating her 24th season as artistic director of A.C.T. Her tenure there has been marked by the rebuilding of the earthquake-damaged Geary Theater (now the American Conservatory Theater), the creation of a new core company of actors; revitalization of the acclaimed A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program; receipt of the 1996 Jujamcyn Theaters Award, honoring A.C.T.’s efforts to develop creative talent for the theater; a series of international collaborations and dozens of successful productions.
Perloff is also an award-winning playwright. Her play Kinship premiered at the Théâtre de Paris last October in a production starring Isabelle Adjani and Niels Schneider and was produced at the Williamstown Theater Festival last summer, starring Cynthia Nixon and directed by Jo Bonney. Waiting for the Flood has received workshops at A.C.T., New York Stage and Film, and Roundabout Theatre. Higher was developed at New York Stage and Film, won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award, and received its world premiere in February 2012 in San Francisco. Luminescence Dating premiered in New York at The Ensemble Studio Theatre, was coproduced by A.C.T. and Magic Theatre, and is published by Dramatists Play Service. The Colossus of Rhodes was workshopped at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, premiered at Lucille Lortel’s White Barn Theatre, and was produced at A.C.T. in 2003.
Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York, where she directed the world premiere of Ezra Pound’s Elektra, the American premiere of Pinter’s Mountain Language, and many classic works. Under Perloff’s leadership, CSC won numerous OBIE Awards, including the 1988 OBIE for artistic excellence. In 1993, she directed the world premiere of Steve Reich and Beryl Korot’s opera The Cave at the Vienna Festival and Brooklyn Academy of Music.
A recipient of France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the National Corporate Theatre Fund’s 2007 Artistic Achievement Award, Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford. She was on the faculty of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for seven years, and teaches and directs in the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program. Perloff is on the board of the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Sarasota, Florida, and is the proud mother of Lexie and Nicholas. Perloff is the author of Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater (City Lights, March 2015).