artist biography

Rachel Perlmeter was a crossmedia artist working in the interstitial spaces between theatre, dance, sound, film, installation art, and the book arts.  Her texts for performance include OSTENTATIOUS POVERTY, MOSCOW PLAYS, WANDERLUST, NEURASTHENIA, and several works for radio including ENVELOP(E) and THERE ARE NO SNAKES IN THE GARDEN.  She recently completed a short commissioned play, EXCHANGES, for the Russian American Play Exchange that will result in readings in Russian and English in Moscow and Chicago in 2014.  Her writings for the stage have been developed and supported by the Playwrights' Center, the Soap Factory, and Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis; Soho Think Tank’s Sixth Floor Series and Mabou Mines’ Suite artist residency program in New York; the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and Lost Nation Theater in Vermont; and the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a Master's in Theatre History and Criticism and was the recipient of two Foreign Language and Area Studies grants for her interdisciplinary work on Russian theatre, a Social Sciences Research Council grant for excellence in the humanities, and a Morton Brown Scholarship.  She has been a Fulbright artist and a TCG/International Theatre Institute fellow working with experimental theatres in Russia and was awarded an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board as well as a Jerome Foundation mentorship at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Recent projects have included the creation of a radio show devoted to experimental narrative techniques called WORDS & MUSIC for WRUV FM;  a staging of Brecht/Weill’s radical masterpiece The Threepenny Opera with full orchestra in an old dining hall; and a multi-part interdisciplinary investigation of  the Ballets Russes.  (Last summer she was invited to give a series of short talks about the Ballets Russes at the National Gallery of Art in Washington as part of their large retrospective on the company. )  Working with Macalester College in St. Paul as a guest artist, she directed a large-scale production of Marat/Sade with an original score by J. Anthony Allen, Noah Keesecker, and Joshua Clausen. 
PRINT CULTURE is her current series of time-based works realized in different media, inspired by the work of Eva Hesse.  Part One was a performance installation- part of Red Eye Theater's Works-in-Progress in Minneapolis, June 2012.  Part Two, a letterpressed edition of 50 scrolls- is now underway and one of the scrolls was shown in the fall group exhibition at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts <<Parts of a Whole>> Autumn, 2013.  Part Three, a durational destruction piece was part of an evening of Fluxus performances called <<Duchamp Sucks!>> curated by Keith Buchholz and Jeff Rathermel in the galleries and studios at Open Book in Minneapolis, March 2014.  Part Four will be developed in Spring 2015 at the St. Paul JCC. Stay tuned ...

Rachel passed away suddenly in September 2014.  In her memory, new iterations of her writings for stage, radio, and film are being developed through Rachel Perlmeter Productions.  To support these endeavors, you can provide a memorial contribution through, at

Photograph by Beth Dow