Kathy A. Perkins | Africa/African Diaspora Theatre, Multi-Ethnic Theatre, Lighting Design | University of Michigan MFA, Howard University BFA USAA 829
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. In 1995 she co-curated ONSTAGE: A Century of African American Stage Design at New York’s Lincoln Center. Perkins has traveled extensively throughout Africa, 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.
She has been a faculty member at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she chaired the MFA lighting design program for nearly twenty years, and Smith College.
Perkins has designed lighting for productions throughout the U.S. at such regional theatres/venues as American Conservatory Theatre (ACT), Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, St. Louis Black Repertory, Alliance, Carnegie Hall, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Congo Square, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alabama Shakespeare, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New Federal Theatre, Mark Taper, Studio Arena, Indiana Repertory, Court, Penumbra, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and Victory Gardens. She is the recipient of such design awards as NAACP Image, Chicago’s Black Theatre Alliance, and was a nominee for the L.A. Ovation Award and New York’s Audelco.
Perkins has served as board member /advisory member for USITT, URTA, New World Theatre, Congo Square, and The History Makers. In 2007 she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.