Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater

No More “Normal”: Challenges Facing Live Theater Today



Carey Perloff celebrates her 17th season as artistic director of A.C.T., where she recently directed Tom Stoppard’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector. Known for innovative productions of classics and championing new writing for the theater, Perloff has also directed for A.C.T. the world premieres of Philip Kan Gotanda’s After the War and her own adaptation (with Paul Walsh) of A Christmas Carol; the American premieres of Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love and Indian Ink and Harold Pinter’s Celebration and The Room; and many others.

She commissioned translations/adaptations of Hecuba, The Misanthrope, Enrico IV, Mary Stuart, Uncle Vanya, and A Mother (based on Maxim Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova); Harley Granville-Barker’s The Voysey Inheritance (adapted by David Mamet); the world premiere of Leslie Ayvazian’s Singer’s Boy; and major revivals of Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill’s works.

Perloff’s work for A.C.T. also includes the West Coast premiere of her own play The Colossus of Rhodes, a Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist. Her play Luminescence Dating premiered in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and was co-produced by A.C.T. and the Magic Theatre.

Perloff has collaborated as a director on new plays by many notable contemporary writers, including Gotanda, Robert O’Hara, and Lucy Caldwell. She is currently developing a new dance-theater piece, The Tosca Project, with choreographer Val Caniparoli; a major production of Phèdre (translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker) for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival; and a new Bacchae for the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

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 The Birthday Party, and many classic works. Under Perloff’s leadership, Classic Stage won numerous OBIE Awards.

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.

 She is 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.

 Carey Perloff is the proud mother of Lexie and Nicholas.

 More information about Carey Perloff can be found at

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