Carey Perloff


Director, producer, playwright and artistic director who has provided leadership in the American theater and globally for almost thirty years. Recently completed a 25-year tenure as Artistic Director of the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Writing and directing work has been seen across the country and internationally. Sought-after public speaker focusing on arts and culture in America today.



1980-81 Fulbright Fellowship to St. Anne's College, Oxford University 1980-81 (M.A. English Literature)


1976-80 B.A. Stanford University, 1980, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude

     Major: Classics and Comparative Literature

     Minor: Theater and Dramatic Literature

     Overseas: Stanford Overseas Study in Florence, 1977


1992-2018: Artistic Director, AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER, San Francisco

June 1992- 2018: Acting and Humanities Faculty, A.C.T. MFA Program

Nov 1986-May 1992: Artistic Director, CSC REPERTORY, CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY

1987-1992: Adjunct Professor, Dramatic Writing Program, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

1990: Site Reporter for the NEA/Theater Program

July 1983-1986: Teaching Artist, LINCOLN CENTER INSTITUTE, NY

Nov 1981-1986: Auditor, NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, Theater and Presenting Programs

June 1982-July 1983: Casting Assistant, NEW YORK SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

Sept 1981-June 1982: Program Manager, INTERNATIONAL THEATER INSTITUTE, NY


2018 Honorary MFA in Acting, American Conservatory Theater

2018 Artist Residency, Bogliasco Foundation, to write Bastiano or the Transfiguration of Raffi

2017 Honorary Doctorate, University of San Francisco

2016 Eugene O’Neill/Tao House Distinguished Achievement Award

2012 Blanche and Irving Laurie Theater Visions Award for Best New American Play for Higher

2011 Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Government of France

2002 The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist and American Theatre Critics Circle Award

          nomination for The Colossus of Rhodes     

2000 Elliot Norton Prize for Best Production in a Regional Theater for Mary Stuart (Huntington Theater)

1999 Lucille Lortel Award to CSC Repertory for 30 years of excellence in the field

1997 Jujamcyn Award ($50,000) to A.C.T. for Creative Contribution to the Field

1996     Dramalogue Award, Best Production (Williams, The Rose Tattoo) A.C.T.

1994 Koret Israel Prize

1989     Dramalogue Award, Best Production (Pinter, The Collection) Mark Taper Forum

1998 Dramalogue Award for Outstanding Direction for The Collection (Mark Taper Forum)

1988 OBIE Award for Artistic Excellence/CSC Repertory

1987 National Theater Conference Award of $1,000 to a Theatrician with Outstanding Career Promise

1987 U.S./International Theater Institute Representative to Theater Der Welt, Stuttgart

1986 TCG Observership Grant

1986 L.A. Drama Critics Award (Best Production), Greek

Citation of Honor from the League of Professional Theater Women, NY


Hamlet (with John Douglas Thompson) A.C.T.; The Birthday Party starring Judith Ivey A.C.T; Queens by Martyna Majok, La Jolla Playhouse; A Thousand Splendid Suns (Ursula Rami Sarna) A.C.T.,Theater Calgary, The Old Globe, Seattle Repertory Theater, Canadian tour; The Hard Problem (Stoppard); John Gabriel Borkman (Ibsen) Stratford Shakespeare Festival; Indian Ink (Stoppard), the Roundabout Theater NYC, starring Rosemary Harris and Romola Garai; Indian Ink (Stoppard), American Conservatory Theater, starring Roberta Maxwell and Brenda Meaney; The Orphan of Zhao  (James Fenton) , starring B.D. Wong, A.C.T. and the La Jolla Playhouse; Testament of Mary (Colm Toibin), starring Seana McKenna; The Real Thing (Stoppard)  starring Rene Augesen and Marco Barricelli; The Voysey Inheritance (Granville-Barker), A.C.T. and Kansas City Rep; Happy End (Brecht and Weill) starring Bebe Neuwirth, Anika Noni Rose, Nancy Dussault and Philip Casnoff, (Original cast album recorded at Skywalker Ranch 2006); A Christmas Carol, in a new adaptation with Paul Walsh (also published); Travesties (Stoppard) starring Geordie Johnson, A.C.T.; After the War (Philip Kan Gotanda), World Premiere Commission, A.C.T. and the Sundance Playwrights Conference; Old Times (Pinter) starring Pamela Reed and Graham Beckel; The Government Inspector (Gogol)  A.C.T.; ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (John Ford), starring Michael Hayden, A.C.T.; Phedre (Racine, translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker), Stratford Shakespeare Festival, starring Seana McKenna, Tom McCamus and Jonathan Goade; Rock ‘N Roll (Stoppard), A.C.T. and the Huntington Theater, American Premiere; Boleros for the Disenchanted (Jose Rivera), starring Rachel Ticotin ;Tosca Cafe, a world premiere dance-theater piece with Val Caniparoli, A.C.T. and a Canadian tour including Theater Calgary and the Vancouver Playhouse, starring Loreena Feijoo, Pascal Molat, Rex Harrington, Dean Paul Gibson; The Homecoming (Pinter) starring Ken Welsh, Jack Willis, Andrew Polk, Rene Augesen, A.C.T.; Scorched (Wajdi Mouawad, translated by Linda Gaboriau), starring David Strathairn; Endgame and Play (Beckett), starring Bill Irwin and Nick Gabriel; Elektra (Sophocles, in a new translation by Timberlake Wertenbaker) starring Olympia Dukakis, Getty Villa, Malibu and A.C.T.; Arcadia (Stoppard) starring Gretchen Egolf and Rebekkah Brockman; Underneath the Lintel (Glen Berger), starring David Strathairn; A Mother (Gorky/Congdon), A.C.T.,  a new adaptation of Vassa Zheleznova, featuring Olympia Dukakis, Louis Zorich; A Doll’s House (Ibsen), A.C.T., in a new translation by Paul Walsh; The Three Sisters (Chekhov), A.C.T.; Waiting for Godot (Beckett), A.C.T; Happy End (Brecht/Weill), choreographed by John Carrafa ; Night and Day (Stoppard), A.C.T; The Difficulty of Crossing a Field (Lang, Wellman), A.C.T., World premiere with Kronos Quartet; For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again (Tremblay), Williamstown Theatre Festival and A.C.T. with Olympia Dukakis; No for an Answer (Blitzstein), A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts production, World premiere; Celebration and The Room (Pinter), A.C.T., American premiere with Peter Riegert, Diane Venora; Enrico IV (Pirandello), A.C.T., in a new translation by Richard Nelson, and many more.


2018     Bastiano or the Transfiguration of Raffi  Bogliasco Foundation, Artist Residency

2016     The Fit Workshopped at Williamstown Theater Festival and New York Stage and Film 2016

               Premiere: San Francisco Playhouse, May 2019, directed by Bill English

2015     Kinship  Premiered at Theatre de la Ville, Paris, starring Isabelle Adjani

               US Premiere at Williamstown Theater Festival starring Cynthia Nixon directed by Jo Bonney

2013     Higher  Received the Blanche and  Irving Laurie Award for Best New American Play 2012

               Premiered at A.C.T. , directed by Mark Rucker

2012     Waiting for the Flood  Workshopped at the Roundabout Theater Company, Baltimore Center Stage)

2011     The Rowboat Widow  Workshopped at The Orchard Project)

2009     Luminescence Dating  Commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

               Premiered at Ensemble Studio Theater in New York, directed by Will Pomerantz           

               West Coast Premiere at the Magic Theater, SF, directed by Mark Rucker

2008     The Colossus of Rhodes  Finalist, Susan Smith Blackburn Award

               Premiered at White Barn Theater, CT., directed by Loy Arcena

               West Coast premiere at A.C.T. 2008, directed by Carey Perloff

2006     A Christmas Carol (adap)  Premiered at A.C.T. Geary Theater, 2006-2018




KINSHIP  (Editions L’avant-scene Theatre 2014)

Ezra Pound's ELEKTRA: The Acting Script, with an Introduction and Program Notes by Carey Perloff

     (New Directions Press, 1990)


     Book in progress, projected completion: 2019



“Tragedy Today”, PMLA 2014

“My Lunches with Harold” American Theater Magazine 2001

“Seven Avenues Towards the Heart of a Mystery”: an Introduction to Mac Wellman's Difficulty of Crossing a Field,

     Theater Magazine, Volume 27, 1998.

“How Greek Is It: Producing Greek Tragedy in the Nineties”, Theatre Magazine

“Brecht and his Collaborators”, Theater Magazine, 1994  

“Happy Days in Rehearsal” in DIRECTING BECKETT, Lois Oppenheim, Editor University of Michigan Press 1994  ISBN-10  

“Pinter in Rehearsal: from The Birthday Party to Mountain Language” in PINTER AT SIXTY, Katherine Burkman and

     John Kundert-Gibbes, Editors (Indiana University Press, 1993)

“Redefining the Classics”, Theater Magazine 1990.

“Multiculturalism in the Theatre--and its Mirage” Culturefront, May 1992.

“Film is Evil, Radio is Good...or Could Be”, Theater Journal (Johns Hopkins Press), October 1991.

“Keeping up the Mask: Some Observations on Directing Pinter”, The Pinter Review, 1989.

“A Conversation about Pinter” (with Susan Merritt), The Pinter Review, 1989. The Harold Pinter Journal

“The Chef in the Scullery”, a Review of David Mamet's Three Uses of the Knife in Culturefront, 1988


“Women's Leadership Project: Women's Leadership in Resident Theaters” A study commissioned by

     Carey Perloff and Ellen Richard, The WELLESLEY CENTERS FOR WOMEN, 2016


Commencement Addresses include Stanford University Classics

Department and U.C. Berkeley Department of Theater and Dance

TEDx TALK: “Why Theater Matters” 2012

Aspen Institute, Keynote Speaker with John Guare on the Current Stage of the American Theater 2010

Hecuba and History

Interpreting Greek and Roman Theater for the Contemporary Stage, J. Paul Getty Museum, June 2000

How Greek Is It: Producing Greek Tragedy in the Nineties

1993 Maynard Mack Lecture, Yale University

Phi Beta Kappa Address, Stanford University, June 1993

Pinter in Rehearsal: from The Birthday Party to Mountain Language

(Keynote Address, The Pinter Conference, OSU 1991)

Panelist, Beckett in the 1990's, New York University, 1991

Is Contemporary Culture More Interesting than Contemporary Art?

Oxford Society Panel with Reynolds Price and Joseph Heller, New York, 1991

Translating the Classics: A Practical Approach

The Classics in Contemporary Culture: A Symposium, UCSD, 1990

Phaedra in India: Transposing the Classics

Chautauqua Institute, July 1989

Elektra: From Sophocles to Ezra Pound

Classics Department, Stanford University, 1988

Pound's Elektra: Staging Greek Tragedy in Contemporary America

Drama Department, Stanford University, 1988