Monthly Archives: June 2016

San Francisco Public Library Announces 2016 One City One Book: Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by Carey Perloff

June 9, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT:  Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

San Francisco Public Library Announces 2016 One City One Book:

Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by Carey Perloff

San Francisco Public Library is pleased to announce that Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater by local author and American Conservatory Theater Artistic Director Carey Perloff has been selected as the 2016 One City One Book.

Perloff has penned a lively and revealing narrative of her 20-plus years at the helm of A.C.T., and delivers a provocative and impassioned manifesto for the role of live theater in today’s technology-infused world.

Beautiful Chaos is a tremendously engaging and entertaining narrative that offers readers an inside look at our home-grown, world-class theater company. It also reminds us of the amazing artistic treasures available to us in the Bay Area and the need to protect, cherish and champion our local arts community,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. “We encourage the entire city to read Beautiful Chaos and join us for programs celebrating the 12th annual One City One Book program.”

“I am so enormously honored and delighted that Beautiful Chaos has been selected as the 2016 One City One Book,” said Perloff. “It was my hope in writing the book to stimulate conversation about the changing role of arts and culture in our city, to explore the journey for women in the arts, to consider the challenges of the kind of humanities-free education happening in so many universities today, and to celebrate the incredible immersive joy of experiencing live performance. I look forward to great conversations across San Francisco as we wrestle with the many issues raised in the book. I am so grateful to my wonderful publisher City Lights Press, a local treasure, for believing in this book and making it happen.”

Perloff’s personal and professional journey—her life as a woman in a male-dominated profession, as a wife and mother, a playwright, director, producer, arts advocate, and citizen in a city erupting with enormous change—is a compelling, entertaining story for anyone interested in how theater gets made. She offers a behind-the-scenes perspective, including her intimate working experiences with well-known actors, directors, and writers including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Robert Wilson, David Strathairn, and Olympia Dukakis.

Whether reminiscing about her turbulent first years as a young woman taking over an insolvent theater in crisis and transforming it into a thriving, world-class performance space, or ruminating on the potential for its future, Perloff takes on critical questions about arts education, cultural literacy, gender disparity, leadership and power.

Visit for more information about programs, book club discussion questions and more, and start reading the book now.