Carey Perloff


ACTING: A.C.T. MFA program 1993-2018

·     “WHY THEATER,” a ten-week introduction to the American non-profit theater and to the nature and practice of making theater today, from the structure and mission of the resident theater movement to the creation of a season and the value of an acting ensemble. The course involves both readings from the history of the field and practical exercises designed to introduce students to the art of producing, the importance of marketing and communication, and the shaping of individual aesthetic  (sample curriculum and video attached)

·     CLASSICAL ACTING, from Racine to Shakespeare. This class focuses on activating the heightened language of classical texts through an understanding of the stakes of a scene and the scale of the “needs” of each character. Material covered ranges from the Greeks to the Elizabethans to the French classical comedy of Moliere and Feydeau.

·     MODERN CLASSICS, from Beckett and Pinter to Williams and Wilson. This class examines strategies for approaching “non-Stanislavskian” texts that require an approach to language and circumstance that does not lead with psychological realism and biography. Material covered ranges from WAITING FOR GODOT to THE BIRTHDAY PARTY, from CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF to THE PIANO LESSON.


·     Banff Center/Alberta Theater Projects: “WOMEN'S DIRECTING INTENSIVE” March 2018

This class was a three-day intensive with 26 women directors, focusing on two texts: Caryl Churchill's TOP GIRLS and Harold Pinter's THE BIRTHDAY PARTY. It was a rigorous hands-on exploration of how to approach a complex text as a director, from the first read to the design and casting process to rehearsal and performance. The members of the class staged scenes with actors from the Alberta Theater Projects company and observed and critiqued each other's work.



·     New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Dramatic Writing Program, 1987-1992.  

“PLAYWRIGHTS WORK WITH ACTORS” taught the collaborative process that occurs between actors and playwrights in the development of new work. “BEYOND NATURALISM” taught students to access a wide variety of theatrical forms beyond naturalism. Exercises included the writing of Feydeau farces, Brechtian choruses, absurdist one-acts, and Shakespearean monologues.

GUEST LECTURER:  UC Berkeley, Stanford, NYU, The Juilliard School, Emerson College, Vassar College, University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University

RESEARCH: Women's Leadership Project:  "Women's Leadership in Resident Theaters" A study commissioned by Carey Perloff and Ellen Richard, Wellesley College, 2016

"Classicists have been exposed to the modern world in the making. Our sense of ourselves, our democracy, our role in the culture, the nature of justice, the essence of gender and the fickle nature of fate, all of this is the fertile ground in which classicists toil."



Why Theater?

A Master Class from Carey Perloff

Current Online Courses

Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning

at the

University of San Francisco

"Secrets from the Rehearsal Room"

Fall Semester 2022

Mondays 1:00pm-2:40pm