Jody McAuliffe, Professor of the Practice and Arts of the Moving Image Certificate and Professor of Practice of Slavic Language and Literature and Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship of Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Jody McAuliffe

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.











Contact Info:
Office Location:  109D Page, Professor of the Practice, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3363
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2019):

    Bryan Center 127, TuTh 03:05 PM-04:20 PM
  • THEATRST 255S.01, DIRECTING Synopsis
    Bryan Center 127, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

M.F.A.Yale University1980
B.S.Northwestern University1976
Pushkin InstituteMoscow, U.S.S.R.

Literary & Cultural Criticism
Research Interests: Directing, Literary & Cultural Criticism, Literary Nonfiction, Documentary

Jody McAuliffe (MFA, Yale University) is a director and writer. Her literary nonfiction work, The Mythical Bill, A Neurological Memoir, came out in spring of 2013 from University of Iowa Press Sightline Series. Most recently, she directed the world premiere of Neal Bell's Now You See Me for Manbites Dog Theater and The Birthday Party (Best Direction, Independent) for Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. She is a co-convener of the working group Performance & Integrated Media, a recipient of a Humanities Writ Large Mellon grant and a Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award. Other publications include: Gulag Follies in Images of Ethics & Pain (Routledge 2012), My Lovely Suicides (a novel) (2007) Crimes of Art and Terror (with Frank Lentricchia, 2003); Mysterious Actions: New American Drama, Guest Editor, South Atlantic Quarterly (2000); Plays, Movies, and Critics, Editor (1993). Adaptations: The Italian Actress; My Lovely Suicides (Semi-Finalist, Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Center National Playwrights Conference), Manbites Dog Theater Other Voices Series. Literary criticism: Journal of Modern Literature; South Atlantic Quarterly; Reflections on a Director's Process, afterword to The New Trial, by Peter Weiss (2001). Fiction: South Atlantic Quarterly; Literary Imagination; Southwest Review. Former National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow at the Mark Taper Forum, she has developed and directed new plays nationally and regionally: Marlane Meyer’s The Mystery of Attraction, Pacific Playwrights Festival, South Coast Repertory, and The Rule of Fate at Manbites Dog Theater; Neal Bell's "Shadow of Himself," New Play Summit, Denver Center Theater. In New York, she directed the English-language premiere of Heiner Muller’s Philoctetes; on the west coast she directed Sleeping Dogs by Neal Bell at Mark Taper Forum and Haut Gout by Allan Havis at South Coast Repertory; on the east coast Otherwise Engaged and The Road to Mecca for Virginia Stage Company, The Front Page for North Carolina Shakespeare Festival; regionally, world premieres at Burning Coal (Lydia Stryk’s Safe House) and Manbites Dog Theater (Neal Bell’s Somewhere in the Pacific). As part of Duke Previews, a professional producing entity, she developed and directed Nilo Cruz’s Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, Megan Mostyn-Brown’s Going After Alice, and her own adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Mao II, a multimedia premiere starring Fred Neumann of Mabou Mines. She has developed and directed new plays at Sundance Institute, L.A. Theatre Center, Old Globe, and Bay Area Playwrights Festival at the Magic Theater. She directed her translation of Andreyev's He Who Gets Slapped and her translation/adaptation of Gogol's Inspector General--The Special Prosecutor-- at Duke, and developed her translations of Andreyev's The Idea and Chekhov's Seagull with New York Theatre Workshop. As a member of the Directing Workshop for Women at American Film Institute, she wrote, produced and directed a short film, My Man Ray, screened at AFI and festivals on both coasts. Her documentary short about a gulag survivor, Rodina, screened at Duke and her documentary short with Elizabeth Davis, Goin’ A Buffalo, screened at Center For Documentary Studies. She has been a regular reviewer of New York theatre for The Norwegian Shakespeare and Theatre Magazine. A member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, she is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

Curriculum Vitae
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. McAuliffe, J, The Mythical Bill, A Neurological Memoir, Sightline Series (2013), University of Iowa Press .
  2. McAuliffe, J, My Lovely Suicides (a novel) (2008), Ravenna Press .
  3. Lentricchia, F; McAuliffe, J, Crimes of Art and Terror (November, 2003), pp. 200 pages, University of Chicago Press  [abs] [author's comments].
  4. Plays, Movies, and Critics, edited by McAuliffe, J (1993), Duke Press .
  5. Jody McAuliffe and Frank Lentricchia, translated into Turkish by Ayrinti Yayinlari, Crimes of Art and Terror (2005) .
  6. Various,, Mysterious actions: New American drama, edited by McAuliffe, J; Noland, W, South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 99 no. 2/3 (2000), Duke University Press (Guest Editor.) [doi] .
  7. McAuliffe, J, Standing on End, Southwest Review (Spring, 1989) (short story.) .
  8. McAuliffe, J, The Imaginary Letters of Heinrich von Kleist to the Poet Holderlin, Literary Imagination (Winter, 2001) (fiction.) .
  9. McAuliffe, J, Mythical Bill: An Inordinately Bright, Dreary Life, in Topograph: New writing from the Carolinas and the landscape beyond, edited by Jackson, J (2010), Novello Festival Press .
  10. McAuliffe, J, Gulag Follies, in Ethics & Images of Pain (2012), Routledge .
  11. McAuliffe, J, Enda Walsh - med unik scenisk fantasi, Norwegian Shakespeare and Theatre Magazine (2011) .
  12. McAuliffe, J, Lucia Joyce as Cordelia and the Fool, Journal of Modern Literature (2005)  [author's comments].
  13. McAuliffe, J, Boos etterkommere (Descendants of Boo), Vagant Magazine, Norway (September, 2006)  [author's comments].
  14. with Frank Lentricchia, Groundzeroland, in Dissent from the Homeland: Essays after 9/11, South Atlantic Quarterly (2003) .
  15. William Noland, The Image World of Mao II, South Atlantic Quarterly (2003) (contains my notes on William Noland's images.) .
  16. McAuliffe, J, Reflections on a Director’s Process, in The New Trial, edited by Weiss, P (2001), Duke University Press (translated by Evers, K; Rollerston, J.) .