"Carey Perloff is stepping down as artistic director of ACT after directing the company for a quarter century. Her final show was Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party." Forum talked with Perloff about her career, the future of theater in San Francisco and her final production."
"I was absolutely sure that I was going to be fired," Carey Perloff says of her tumultuous first year as artistic director of the American Conservatory Theater.
She had good reason to worry. Outraged Catholic Church members had picketed and leafleted playwright Dario Fo's satire "The Pope and the Witch." Audiences had walked out in droves, and the theater and local newspapers were flooded with angry letters about the pervasive, S&M-tinged nudity in another production, "The Duchess of Malfi."
"What's wrong with Canadian plays?" Asked a prominent American theatre commentator in a widely circulated blog post last summer – nearly causing an outbreak of familiar cultural cringe on this side of the border. "Quick, name five modern Canadian playwrights," Howard Sherman, former executive director of the American Theatre Wing in New York, challenged his readers in the online journal HowlRound. "Having trouble? I bet you are."
"After a quarter century at the helm of ACT, the classics-minded director/playwright is quitting while she’s ahead."
–– ROBERT AVILA, AMERICAN THEATER
"Fundamental to the theater's success, she said, has been a commitment to the audience: 'Bill Ball felt the audience would rise to the level that you challenged them to rise to, and I've always believed that too. We have never dumbed down.'"
"Carey Perloff back at ACT’s Strand Theater — as a playwright this time"
“Set in the strange realm of Silicon Valley venture capital firms, 'The Fit' follows an Indian-American woman struggling to make her way in an industry where she has to deny her own identity and values to get ahead.
'I have been interested in gender politics my whole career,' Perloff says, “wrestling with the nature of leadership and whether what we want as women is simply to step into the shoes of the men around us or whether we actually want to try and remake what the table looks like, as it were.”
– THE MERCURY NEWS
"Stratford Festival Review: 'Rolling with laughter' at Private Lives
Witty dialogue and superb acting makes Private Lives a hilarious night out in Stratford this summer"
“The performances Perloff has elicited are refreshingly down-to-earth. None of that debonair posturing, the artificial old-mannered acting styles that can drag down Coward productions. Peacock is superb as Amanda – a rich and aimless woman who nevertheless nurses a deep sadness that apparently only Elyot and his tempers can assuage. The actor's line deliveries are fresh and funny, but there's always a beating heart underneath. Wyn Davies, meanwhile, isn't afraid to play Elyot as a violent misogynist. 'I should like to cut off your head with a meat axe,' he shouts at Sibyl, no Cowardian charm to couch it.”
– GLOBE AND MAIL
"Director Carey Perloff has compiled a fine cast. Lucy Peacock and Geraint Wyn Davies as ex spouses Amanda and Elyot are a divine pairing. From the moment Amanda knows to hand Elyot the fruit from her cocktail, it is clear that these two share something far more intimate with each other than they do with their new spouses. Their chemistry is excellent and they are equally as fun to watch when they are getting along as they are when they are sparring."
– BROADWAY WORLD