The Brooklyn-born director will return to New York to teach and direct. ART executive director Robert Orchard will maintain theatre operations while a search for a successor begins in January. After a childhood on Long Island and schooling at University of Buffalo and City College of New York, Woodruff left New York for San Francisco. There, he co-founded the Eureka Theatre and served as artistic and resident director until 1978. He also established the Bay Area Playwrights Festival in 1976 where he first worked with Sam Shepard on The Sad Lament of Pecos Bill. Woodruff continued his collaboration with the scribe, staging premieres of his Curse of the Starving Class, Buried Child and True West as well as Tongues and Savage/Love. In recent years, he also teamed a number of times with Edward Bond and Charles L. Mee.
Other directing credits include work across the country at the Goodman Theatre, Lincoln Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theatre and the American Conservatory Theatre. He has also taught directing and acting at Columbia University.
American Repertory Theatre is housed at Harvard University's Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA, and can be found on the web at amrep.org.