Dr. Polly Carl
Polly Carl, Ph.D. is one of the nation’s foremost experts on new plays, playwrights, and playwriting. As the artistic and strategic head of The Playwrights’ Center, she oversees a quarter-million-dollar fellowship and residency program and produces the renowned annual PlayLabs Festival, while serving as the lead dramaturg for a year-round schedule of new play projects in The Playwrights’ Center’s Ruth Easton Lab. In recent years she has supported the development of new plays by Lisa D’Amour, Jordan Harrison, Kira Obolensky, Karen Zacarias, and many other writers. In 2005, Carl launched an American-Japanese playwright exchange with Tokyo International Theater Festival director Sachio Ichimura. Carl commissions and develops new work annually, including recent plays by Ruth Margraff, Kathleen Tolan, Mac Wellman, and Craig Lucas, whose Small Tragedy won the 2004 Obie for Best American Play. While at the Center, she collaborates with and advises Twin Cities theater companies including the Guthrie Theater and The Children’s Theatre Company as well as New York’s Public Theater, D.C.-area Signature Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has served on NEA and other panels, and sits on the advisory committee to the Steinberg Playwrights’ Awards. Carl’s Ph.D. in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society with an emphasis on Text Analysis is from the University of Minnesota.