Carey Perloff

2021

Carey Elizabeth Perloff, born on February 9th,1959, in Washington D.C., is a theatre director, playwright, author, and educator. She was the artistic director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), in San Francisco, from 1992 to June 2018.

She studied at the University of Stanford, where she received a B.A. in comparative classical literature in 1980. Afterwards, she gained a Fulbright scholarship to attend St. Anne’s College of Oxford’s University. Perloff directed Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre for two years.

Perloff worked as an administrator at the International Theatre Institute, then as a casting assistant with Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, while launching her directing career off-off Broadway. In 1986, she was named artistic director of the Off-Broadway Classic Stage Company (CSC), where she worked until becoming the artistic director of A.C.T., in San Francisco, in 1992. At CSC, Perloff directed the world premiere of Ezra Pound’s Elektra, the American premiere of Harold Pinter’s Mountain Language, and many classic works. Under her leadership, CSC won numerous OBIE Awards, including the 1988 OBIE for artistic excellence.

In 1992, Perloff was appointed artistic director of A.C.T., where her first task was to manage the rebuild of the earthquake-damaged Geary Theater, which reopened in January 1996 with Perloff’s production of The Tempest. Perloff’s tenure at A.C.T. included the creation of a new core company of actors, the revitalization of the acclaimed A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program, and a series of international collaborations, including The Virtual Stage and Electric Company Theatre’s multi-media adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit, Robert Wilson and Tom Waits’ The Black Rider, Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling’s The Overcoat, and Kneehigh Theatre’s Brief Encounter, as well as the American premieres of plays by Tom Stoppard and Harold Pinter.

In addition to her work at the main A.C.T. theatre on Geary Street, Carey Perloff managed the reinvigoration of a theatre on Market Street that had been built in 1917. The plan of recreating the Strand was complementary to the A.C.T. mission, in that it could accommodate different types and sizes of plays and performances with greater flexibility.

Perloff has written several plays that have achieved international acclaim. The play “The Colossus of Rhodes” was a Susan Smith Blackburn Award finalist. “Luminescence Dating” (which can be found on DCPAS) premiered in New York at The Ensemble Studio Theatre in 2005, a coproduction by A.C.T. and Magic Theatre. Her play Waiting for the Flood has received workshops at A.C.T., New York Stage and Film, and Roundabout Theatre Company. Her one-act “The Morning After” was a finalist for the Heideman Award at Actors Theatre of Louisville, and “Higher” was developed at New York Stage and Film and presented at San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum in November 2010. Her play “Kinship” was translated into French and performed in Paris in 2014, and again in 2015, at the Williamstown Theater Festival.

Carey Perloff 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. In 2011, she won the Blanche and Irving Laurie Theater Visions Award for her play “Higher”. In 2019, Perloff was awarded the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Dramatic Production, Direction, Lighting and Scenic Design for the Old Globe’s production of “A Thousand Splendid Suns.”, an adaptation of the novel by Khaled Hosseini.

More information: careyperloff.com and en.wikipedia.org

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