Vincent Murphy


Theater Studies

Resident Actor/Director

Theater Emory

Office: Rich Building, Room 228

Phone: 404-727-3465



Vincent Murphy, who in 2005/2006 stepped down from 17 years as artistic producing director of Theater Emory, has a professional career spanning three decades of collaboration on more than 200 productions in the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. As a director, playwright, actor, designer, choreographer, and artistic director, he has garnered more than 40 major awards, working at several leading regional theaters in the United States, including The American Repertory Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, The Sacramento Theater Company, and The Actors Theatre of Louisville.

In 2002 he was awarded a Crystal Apple from Emory College for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Murphy has devoted much of his career to championing the development of new plays. At Theater Emory, he developed a biennial Brave New Works series for locally, nationally, and internationally acclaimed writers. The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory developed eight new plays in the spring of 2001, including Naomi Wallace's Fugitive Cant. At Murphy's initiation, a city-wide festival of Wallace's work was produced by twelve professional theaters in Atlanta in the fall of 2001. Previously, Murphy initiated and produced similar festivals for Athol Fugard, Frank Manley, and Wole Soyinka. A Classics in Context series he developed included festivals of works by the Greeks, Moliere, Restoration drama, Ibsen, Shaw, Beckett, and the construction of the internationally acclaimed Black Rose Elizabethan playhouse.

Murphy himself is a seasoned adapter and producer of new work. He began his career in 1970 by creating a well-received adaptation of the works of William Blake. Recently, he premiered and directed his adaptation of Manley's The Cockfighter at Actors Theatre's Humana Festival, a work published in the Smith and Krause 1999 Humana Plays edition and shot as a feature film. Currently, he is finishing a book on literary adaptation.

As director and dramaturg, Murphy has contributed significantly to several leading play centers, including the Sundance Playwrights Lab, New Dramatists in NY, the Charlotte New Play Center, the Southeast Playwrights Lab, and most recently, by directing two of three major commissions by the Salt Lake City Cultural Olympics Committee at Pioneer Theater. Both of the project's playwrights, Arthur Kopit and Robert Schenkkan, requested the opportunity to continue collaborating on the development of their work, resulting in their residency at Theater Emory in 2001. The workshop premiere of Kopit's Discovery of America occurred at Emory in fall 2002.

Other career highlights include Murphy's 1973-74 tour of European festivals with an off-shoot of The Open Theater, including a press conference in Berlin on the Vietnam war, and co-founding of two nonprofit theater companies in Boston. In 1980, he co-founded Theater Works, a company that developed more than 15 new works and garnered national acclaim from The Village Voice, Newsweek Magazine, Theater Works Magazine, and three Nathan Award Best Critic winners.