Madeline Puzo is a veteran of some of the country’s leading regional theaters, and her dynamic professional experience ranges from producing musical theatre to new play festivals to classical productions in rotating repertory. Under her leadership as former dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts from 2002 to 2015, the School inaugurated three new graduate degrees, revised and expanded its undergraduate programs, doubled its faculty and created its global vision. She has been instrumental in the implementation of Vision and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative, as well as the Get Your Hands Dirty With the Arts festivals.
Puzo has commissioned and/or produced work with such international artists as British director Sir Peter Hall, Indian playwright Girish Karnad, South African writer/lyricist/composer/director Mbongeni Ngema and Nigerian writer Femi Osofisan, as well as American artists David Henry Hwang, Anna Deavere Smith, Bartlett Sher, Robert Woodruff, Bill T. Jones, Philip Glass, Joe Chaikin, Spaulding Gray and Emily Mann.
She came to USC from the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles. As associate producer there, she had planned seasons and supervised productions since 1995. Prior to 1995, she was producing director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, heading both the artistic and production staffs and establishing a research and commissioning program to discover and produce plays from non-Western cultures.
From 1981 to 1989, she was associate producer for the CTG’s Mark Taper Forum. In a dual role as creative producer, she supervised more than 50 productions. In 1983, she led the creation of Taper, Too, the Mark Taper Forum’s second theater. As its director, she won nine Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards. She was also artistic consultant/co-producer for the theatre portion of the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival and co-producer of Carplays, a multidisciplinary festival presented in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art.
She has been a consultant for the NEA, the Pew Charitable Trusts, Theatre Communications Group and the Rockefeller and Lila Wallace Readers Digest foundations, and she has written for American Theatre Magazine and for the stage. Her adaptation of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory was presented by the Mark Taper Forum for 10 consecutive years and toured Eastern Europe.