MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 1995

Elizabeth LeCompte

Theater Director

New York, New York

Age: 51 at time of award

Published July 1, 1995

Elizabeth LeCompte is best known for her work with the New York City-based experimental theater company, the Wooster Group, of which she is a founding member and the artistic director.

Integrating media and a multiplicity of other texts into the theatrical environment, LeCompte constantly experiments with form and content.  She is known for deconstructing and reassembling classic text and imagery in the manner of a collage artist or filmmaker.  Her highly inventive productions contain film, video, dialogue, recorded sound, and architectonic designs.  Since 1975, she has conceived and constructed seventeen works for the theatre with the Wooster Group, including the trilogy, “Three Places in Rhode Island,” Route 1 & 9 (1981), Frank Dell’s The Temptation of Saint Antony (1987), Brace Up! (1991), Fish Story (1993), The Emperor Jones (1994), The Hairy Ape (1995), House/Lights (1999), and To You, The Birdie! (Phèdre) (2001).

Prior to forming the Wooster Group, LeCompte was a performing member of another experimental theatre ensemble, the Performance Group (1970-1975), while also serving as assistant director to Richard Schechner.  She has lectured and taught workshops at the Pratt Institute, New York University, Connecticut College, and American University.

LeCompte received a B.S. (1967) from Skidmore College.

Last updated January 1, 2005