Rebecca Rugg

Visiting Associate Professor of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism


Rebecca Rugg is a producer, dramaturg, and teacher. She is the Director of the Center for Civic Art and Design at Redmoon Theater Company in Chicago, and the Producer of Redmoon’s Great Chicago Fire Festival. Before joining Redmoon, she worked as Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theater Company, where she managed the theater’s commissioning program, literary office, and oversaw programming in the theater’s Garage Theater, including First Look Repertory of New Plays and Garage Rep.

Throughout her career, Rugg has been dedicated to the creation of multilayered collaborative partnerships.  She produced the University network of the 365 Festival—a national festival based on 365 Days/365 Plays, a yearlong play cycle written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan Lori Parks. Composed of sixteen regional networks, and produced by Bonnie Metzgar together with Parks, this landmark international event was a shared global premiere by hundreds of theaters, universities and art spaces throughout the U.S. and abroad. Time magazine named the 365 Festival one of its top ten theater events in 2006.

Prior to her move to Chicago, she 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 BabyElaine Stritch at Liberty, and together with Joe’s Pub Director Bill Bragin, commissioned Passing Strange. The Public is one of the cultural treasures of NYC, an off-Broadway institution with five theaters, including free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.

Since 2005, she has taught in the Department of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at  Yale School of Drama, and where she also previously served as Associate Chair of the school’s Playwriting program. In Chicago, she has taught at DePaul, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago. 

At Yale, she founded an international, multi-disciplinary program in the arts and public health, dedicated to immersive learning and arts-based interventions against the HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. For this program, she conceived and implemented partnerships between the U.S. University, local African artists, communities and NGOs in Swaziland and South Africa. 

She is co-editor with Harvey Young, Jr. of the anthology Reimagining A Raisin in the Sun: Four New Plays (Northwestern University Press). Her translation of Biljana Srbljanovic's Family Stories premiered at the Market Theater in Cambridge, MA. Her criticism and translations have been published in American Theatre, Theater magazine, and Performing Arts Journal. She holds a DFA and an MFA from Yale School of Drama. She is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theater.