Ariel Dorfman

Ariel Dorfman, Playwright

Photo by Sergio Parra

Representative Plays:

Death and the Maiden (1991)
Purgatorio (2006)


Ariel Dorfman, the Chilean-American author of numerous works in both Spanish and English, holds the Walter Hines Page chair at Duke University. His books have been translated into over forty languages and his plays staged in more than one hundred countries. His play Death and the Maiden won England’s Olivier Award for Best Play 1991 and was produced on Broadway, made into a feature film by Roman Polanski and was revived in London’s West End starring Thandie Newton in late 2011. Widows and Reader have won awards from the Kennedy Center and also been staged worldwide. Other plays include Purgatorio, The Other Side / Delirium, Picasso's Closet and Speak Truth to Power. In 1995, his film Prisoners in Time, a BBC Teleplay co-written with Rodrigo Dorfman, won Best Feature Film screenplay WGGB Awards. He is active in the defense of human rights and his articles are published in the most important broadsheets worldwide. In 2010 he delivered the Mandela Lecture in South Africa. He is currently working on a new opera, Naciketa for Opera Circus with composer Nigel Osborne.

Source: Concord Theatricals


Duke University Profile

Bio & Works on Concord Theatricals

Resources found in the UC Berkeley Library Database:

(CalNet authentication required)

Death of the Maiden (Full Text)

Purgatorio (Full Text)

Reader (Full Text)

Widows (Full Text)


Argentine, Chilean, American

Disclaimer: This playwright profile is part of the BIPOC Playwrights Project, a resource for theater educators and practitioners. Playwrights listed on this website are not necessarily affiliated with UC Berkeley or the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies.