Director and Associate Professor
Conservatory of Theatre Arts
State University of New York
Tuesday, February 12th - Wednesday, February 13th
Public Presentation: 2/12, 12:30 - 1:30 pm
1300 Architecture & Design Studios (ADS)
845 West Harrison Street
Rebecca Rugg is currently the Director of the Conservatory of Theater Arts at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is a producer and curator, whose expertise is to manifest ambitious ideas, galvanize people, and to manage complex, large scale arts projects across multiple sectors. She is committed to the crucial role of the arts to our civic health, and to equality of access in training for future generations. She has a stellar track record of accomplishment over fifteen years of increasing leadership at major nonprofit theater institutions, including Chicago’s Redmoon and Steppenwolf Theater Companies, and thirteen years’ service as a faculty member at Yale School of Drama, the nation’s premier graduate theater conservatory.
At Redmoon, she produced The Great Chicago Fire Festival, a citywide celebration of resilience, a day of performance, civic pride, and spectacle, developed in partnership with the City of Chicago. In 2015, Rugg’s leadership brought the Fire Festival’s summer programming to 50,000 youth in Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods, through partnerships with Cure Violence, After School Matters, and the Chicago Park District Summer Camps.
She was Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theater Company, where she oversaw artistic grant initiatives through Mellon, Steinberg, and Joyce Foundations and the Duke/Nonprofit Finance Fund. At Steppenwolf, she also produced programming in the theater’s Garage Theater, including First Look Repertory of New Plays and Garage Rep.
She also served on the artistic staff at The Public Theater under George C. Wolfe, as Dramaturg and Director of New Projects, focusing on musical theater development. She was dramaturg on the original productions of Caroline, or Change, Harlem Song, Radiant Baby, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, and commissioned Passing Strange. She is co-editor with Harvey Young, Jr. of the anthology Reimagining A Raisin in the Sun: Four New Plays (Northwestern University Press). Her criticism and translations have been published in American Theater, Theater Magazine and Performing Arts Journal. She holds a DFA and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where she teaches in the Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, and also previously served as Associate Chair of the Playwriting program. In Chicago, she has taught at DePaul, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago.