Kelly Kerwin is a creative producer, performance curator, and dramaturg originally from the Ozarks. She recently became the Artistic Director for Oklahoma City Repertory Theater. Prior to this appointment, she was the Associate Producer for The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival and she was also a line producer for new plays and musicals. At The Public, she also shepherded the Devised Theater Working Group and produced their work-in-progress showings at part of Incoming! in the Under the Radar Festival.

Recent projects include the world premiere of The Line (Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen); Make Me Down: Songs for Making it Through Alive By The HawtPlates (Jade Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, and Justin Hicks); Soft Power (David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori, Leigh Silverman, Sam Pinkleton); Girl from the North Country (Conor McPherson); We're Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time (David Cale, Robert Falls); M'lima's Tale (Lynn Nottage, Jo Bonney); Self Portraits (Phillip Howze, Stevie Walker Webb); & Tony Kushner's newly revised A Bright Room Called Day (directed by Oskar Eustis).

Prior to working at The Public, she was on the artistic staff at Yale Repertory Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, the House Theatre of Chicago, Collaboraction, and she was the co-artistic director for the Yale Cabaret's 46th Season. She also founded, with Jane Beachy, Chicago's Salonathon--a weekly series specializing in underground performance.  In 2016, she received the Mark Bly Creative Capacities Fellowship to support POP! A Pop-Up Performance Festival, which she conceived, curated, and produced. The festival featured brand-new theater experiences by 17 emerging artists in 6 different spaces throughout Bushwick.


She was the dramaturg on the world premiere of Ike Holter's Hit the Wall at Steppenwolf's Garage Rep, which went on to make the Chicago Tribune's "Top Ten Plays" list and had a commercial run in New York at the Barrow Street Theatre.  She has developed work with Ike Holter, Phillip Howze, Carly Mensch, Amelia Roper, Emily Zemba, and she was the dramaturg on acclaimed world premiere of The House Theatre of Chicago's The Sparrow (Jeff Award: Best New Play). 

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Yale School of Drama, MFA in Dramaturgy/Dramatic Criticism, 2015

The Theatre School at DePaul University, BFA in Dramaturgy/Dramatic Criticism, 2008

Awards and Honors:

  • Mark Bly Creative Capacities Fellowship to “support artists as they explore and expand the boundaries of dramaturgy in the Americas,” 2015

  • Pierre-André Salim Prize awarded to one graduating Yale School of Drama student whose “artistry, professionalism, collaborative energy, and commitment to the community have inspired their colleagues, and who show distinct promise of raising the standard of practice in the field,” 2015

  • Student Marshall, Yale Drama Commencement, 2015

  • Yale Cabaret named “Best Theater” by the New Haven Advocate under leadership, 2014

  • George Pierce Baker Memorial Scholarship, Yale School of Drama, 2013

  • Edes Prize for Emerging Artists, Finalist, 2010