email: kaperkin@email.unc.edu


Kathy A. Perkins

Africa/African Diaspora Theatre, World Drama, Lighting Design

Kathy Perkins is the editor of Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays before 1950, Black South African Women: An Anthology of Plays, African Women Playwrights, and Alice Childress: Selected Plays. She is co-editor of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color (ATHE 1996 Outstanding Theatre Book Award) and Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women. She is a senior editor for the forthcoming Routledge Companion to African American Theatre and Performance.

In 1995 Perkins co-curated ONSTAGE: A Century of African American Stage Design at New York’s Lincoln Center.  In 2016 she served as theatre consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture inaugural exhibition Taking the Stage.  She  has traveled extensively throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Europe as both designer and lecturer. She is the recipient of numerous research awards, including the Ford Foundation, Fulbright, United States Information Agency (USIA), New York Times Company, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Money for Women Fund, United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and various University of Illinois awards, including University Scholar.

Perkins has designed lighting for productions throughout the U.S. at such regional theatres/venues as American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, St. Louis Black Repertory, Alliance, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Congo Square, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alabama Shakespeare, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New Federal Theatre, eta Creative Arts, Mark Taper, Studio Arena, Indiana Repertory, Court, Writers Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Two Rivers Theatre, and Victory Gardens. She is the recipient of such design

awards as NAACP Image Award, Chicago’s Black Theatre Alliance, and was a nominee for the L.A. Ovation Award and New York’s Audelco. She has served as faculty member at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she chaired the MFA lighting design program for nearly twenty years, and Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Perkins has served as board member /advisory member for USITT, URTA, New World Theatre, Congo Square, Definition Theatre, and The History Makers. In 2007 she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. She received her BFA in Drama from Howard University and her M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of Michigan.

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