Founded by William Ball in 1965, the American Conservatory Theatre settled permanently in San Francisco in 1967; it is now one of the largest and most successful regional repertory companies in the nation, presenting a season of nine classical and modern plays in nightly rotation over thirty-three weeks. A.C.T. has a staff of over 200 with a yearly budget of $4,000,000.00; only 28% of this figure comes from grants and foundations. The position of “dramaturg” at A.C.T. evolved as the pragmatic “literary” needs of the company made themselves apparent over the years. Dennis Powers has been chiefly responsible for this development and during the 1975–1976 season he first officially assumed the title. What follows is an edited record of an interview conducted in February 1978.

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