Jody McAuliffe

Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies


109D Page, Professor of the Practice, Durham, NC 27708


(919) 660-3363

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: Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Manbites Dog Theater, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Burning Coal, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Sundance Institute, L.A. Theatre Center, Great Plains Theatre Conference, 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.   Currently adapting Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist in collaboration with Jim Findlay, Rachel Jett, Jess Barbagallo, and Paul Lazar in residence at Abrons Art Center, New York, in 2017.   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, Tug Yourgrau, Young Jean Lee, Megan Mostyn Brown, Kat Ramsburg, David Hilder.  Her adaptations have been produced at Manbites Dog Theater. 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 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.  Most recent projects include directing Genne Murphy's Giantess for Great Plains Theatre Conference, Barbara Hammond's We Are Pussy Riot for Theater Previews at Duke (also dramaturg), The Wild Duck at Duke University, and dramaturgy for Sibyl Kempson's Let Us Now Praise Susan Sontag at Abrons Art Center in New York City.  She is a recipient of Duke’s Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award.                    


  • M.F.A. 1980, Yale University

  • B.S. 1976, Northwestern University

  • Pushkin Institute , Moscow, U.S.S.R.


  • The Mythical Bill, A Neurological Memoir, 2013
    McAuliffe, J

  • My Lovely Suicides (a novel), 2007
    McAuliffe, J

  • Crimes of Art and Terror, 2005
    Jody McAuliffe and Frank Lentricchia, translated into Turkish by Ayrinti Yayinlari

  • Crimes of Art and Terror, 2003
    Lentricchia, F; McAuliffe, J

  • Plays, Movies, and Critics, 1993


2016 Collaboration Development Grant, Council for the Arts

2016 Faculty Research Grant, Arts & Sciences Council

2015 Josiah Trent Memorial Foundation Grant

2015 Grant, Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation

2014 Duke Faculty Fellowship in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship

2014 Duke Faculty Fellowship, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

2012 Humanities Writ Large, Performance and Integrated Media, Mellon Foundation

2011 Best Direction, The Birthday Party, Independent Weekly, Independent Weekly

2010 Collaboration Development Grant, Duke University Council For The Arts, Duke University Council For The Arts

2009 Franklin Center Fellowship, Innovating Forms, Franklin Center

2009 Visual Studies Initiative, Unknown

2008 Provost's Common Fund, Unknown

2007 Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Grant

2007 Collaboration Development Grant, Duke University Council For The Arts

2007 Faculty Travel Award, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies

2007 Best Direction Shadow of Himself, Independent Weekly

2007 Semi-finalist, National Playwrights Conference, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center

2005 Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award

2000 Provost's Common Fund

1991 Certificate of Achievement, N.C. International Film & Video Festival

1990 International Research & Exchanges Board short-term travel grant

1990 Travel Grant, International Research & Exchanges Board

1990 U.S./Japan Artist Exchange Fellowship Program (Alternate), National Endowment for the Arts

1987 Directing Workshop for Women, American Film Institute

1984 Directing Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts

1976 Excellence in Theater Award, Northwestern University

1972 Certificate of Merit, National Merit Scholarship Program

1972 Illinois State Scholar