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Jody McAuliffe

Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies
Theater Studies
Box 90680, Durham, NC 27708-0680
Campus Box 90680, Professor of the Practice, Durham, NC 27708


Jody McAuliffe (MFA, Yale University) 

Award-winning director, writer, adapter, dramaturg, translator, scholar and teacher whose artistic work has been seen across the country. Her directing combines theater, film, documentary, literary adaptation, dramaturgy and the development of new work. Her writing encompasses multiple genres: short fiction; film, literary, and cultural criticism; literary non-fiction; a novel. 

Directing Credits: Abrons Arts Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Duke Performances, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Sundance Institute, L.A. Theatre Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Burning Coal, Manbites Dog Theater, Private Theatre. Member SDC.  

Publications include The Mythical Bill, A Neurological MemoirMy Lovely Suicides; Crimes of Art and TerrorMysterious Actions: New American Drama, Guest Editor, South Atlantic QuarterlyPlays, Movies, and Critics; Foreword to Sibyl Kempson’s Let Us Now Praise Susan SontagGulag Follies in Ethics and Images of Pain (an essay about her theatrical adaptation of Shalamov's Kolyma Tales); Reflections on a Director's Process, Afterword to Peter Weiss’s The New Trial.  Short fiction in South Atlantic Quarterly. Literary Imagination, and Southwest Review.  Reviewed theatre for Norwegian Shakespeare and Theatre Magazine.  

Resident Artist at Abrons Art Center, New York, she adapted and directed Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist (also part of Duke Performances season) in collaboration with Jim Findlay, Rachel Jett, Jess Barbagallo, and Tanya Selvaratnam.   Recent projects include dramaturgy on True Pearl with David Lang and Sibyl Kempson (2018 premiere at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston), directing Barbara Hammond's We Are Pussy Riot for Theater Previews at Duke (also dramaturg), and dramaturgy for Sibyl Kempson's Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag at Abrons Art Center in New York City. Collaborators include Don DeLillo, Wole Soyinka, Sibyl Kempson, Frederick Neumann, Neal Bell, Allan Havis, Nilo Cruz, Erin Cressida Wilson, Clay Taliaferro, William Noland, Joseph L. Guindi, Barbara Hammond, Marlane Meyer, Julie Hebert, Donald Margulies, Anna Deavere Smith, Lewis Black, Robert Auletta, Reynolds Price, Young Jean Lee, Megan Mostyn Brown.  Her adaptations have been produced at Manbites Dog Theater, Abrons Arts Center, Duke Performances.

As chair of theater studies, she revived the professional producing arm of the department, Theater Previews, and presented New Works Labs by Sibyl Kempson and Barbara Hammond (both New Dramatists) and hosted The Builders Association for a workshop with freshmen in the Focus program she created--Liveness: Digital Media & Performance. Received a Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Grant to study new play development at Scotland’s Traverse Theater.  Convener of the Mellon funded Humanities Writ Large Performance and Integrated Media; Guest Director and Guest Faculty at the National Theater Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center; Director of the Duke in Chicago Arts Entrepreneurship Program which she created; Guest Artist at Great Plains Theatre Conference; National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow at the Mark Taper Forum and member of the Directing Workshop for Women at American Film Institute. Her video work has screened at AFI, North Carolina Museum of Art and festivals.  She was Associate Producer on Metromedia Producers' Tom Cottle. Up Close.

As a Duke Faculty Fellow in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, she hosted a panel on domestic terrorism with Tim Nichols, Executive Director, Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program, and Fellows after a performance of her adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent from the point of view of Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber: The Perfect Detonator.  

She is a recipient of Duke’s Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award.











Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies · 2005 - Present Theater Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor of the Practice of Slavic Language and Literature · 2005 - Present Slavic & Eurasian Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship · 2018 - Present Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Yale University · 1980 M.F.A.
Northwestern University · 1976 B.S.