Africa/African Diaspora Theatre, World Drama, Lighting Design


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, Alice Childress: Selected Plays and Telling Our Stories of Home: International Performance Pieces by and about Women. She is co-editor of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color, and Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women. She is a senior editor for the 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 to over forty countries 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), and United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). She is the recipient of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Career Achievement Award in Academic Theatre and the USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in both Education and Lighting.

Perkins has designed lighting for Broadway and at such regional theatres as American Conservatory Theatre, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, St. Louis Black Repertory, Alliance, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Congo Square, Manhattan Theatre Club, Alabama Shakespeare, New Federal Theatre, eta Creative Arts, Mark Taper, Indiana Repertory, People’s Light, Writers Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Two Rivers Theatre, and Arden Theatre. 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. 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/advisory member for USITT, URTA, 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. In 2021, the University of Michigan awarded her a Doctor of Fines Arts.



Telling Our Stories of Home

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