Wesleyan portrait of Katie  Pearl

Katie Pearl

Assistant Professor of Theater

160 Washington Street, 106


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BA University of Washington
MFA Brown University

Katie Pearl

Directing, site-specificity, socially engaged art, theater as civic practice, devising/collaboration, climate, Maria Irene Fornes.

Katie Pearl's work ranges from conventional plays to community-wide collaborations to experimental performances. Her professional practice is motivated and shaped by the conviction that personal encounter and creative exchange are essential to a humane world; as such, a core interest is in the relationships making up a performance event and their ability to shift perception and catalyze action. 

Pearl is the co-Artistic Director of the Obie-winning PearlDamour, a company with a 20-year history of pushing the boundaries of theatrical convention. PearlDamour has garnered recognition and support from major institutions such as the NEA (Our Town grant), the Creative Capital Foundation, and the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund. PearlDamour projects are genre-defying, community building, and adventurous—from the 8-hour performance installation How to Build a Forestinspired by Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil spill and devised for traditional theatre stages; to Lost in the Meadow, created for a forty-acre hillside at Longwood Botanical Gardens outside Philadelphia, fancifully exploring the short-sightedness of humans; to the 5-town, 5-year MILTON, our performance and community engagement project created for and with small towns named Milton.

Pearl was the 2017 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton, the Quinn Martin Guest Chair of Directing at UCSD, and a visiting lecturer at Harvard, where her teaching and research focused on the concept of the Artist-Citizen.  Commissions include Trinity Rep, The American Repertory Theater, The Kitchen, and PS122. Pearl has been a Berkeley Rep Ground Floor and SPACE at Ryder Farm artist. She is a producer on the award winning documentary about the Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes called The Rest I Make Up, currently screening at museums and festivals world-wide. Current/upcoming works focus on climate, including Ocean Filibuster, commissioned by the American Repertory Theater in partnership with the Harvard Center for the Environment and premiering Oct '20.

Pearl received her BA from the University of Washington (Drama) and her MFA from Brown University (Writing for Performance). She is an alum of the Drama League and a member of SDC.  www.katiepearl.com,  www.pearldamour.com 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Tuesdays 12-2:00pm EST and by appointment
Zoom or in-person socially distanced meetings possible


Fall 2020
THEA 281 - 01
Introduction to Directing

THEA 427 - 01
Performance Practice A

THEA 427 - 02
Performance Practice A

THEA 431 - 01
Performance Practice B

THEA 431 - 02
Performance Practice B

THEA 433 - 01
Performance Practice C

Spring 2021
CHUM 352 - 01
Following Forn├ęs: Creativity