Carolyn Ratteray

Associate Professor of Theatre; Chair of Theatre
  • Expertise


    Carolyn Ratteray (playwright, actor) is an Emmy-nominated actor, director and writer based in the Los Angeles area. She has appeared in off-Broadway and regional theaters as well as in TV/film and voice over. Credits include appearances at The Mark Taper Forum, The Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Boston Court Theatre, A Noise Within, Antaeus Theatre, Echo Theatre Company and The Garry Marshall Theatre. Regional theatres include The Old Globe, The Pearl Theatre Company and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. In addition to performing, Carolyn has directed By The Way Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage, In Love and Warcraft by Madhuri Shekar and Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as staged readings throughout the Los Angeles area. She has studied theatrical clown with Philip Gaulier, Chris Bayes, David Bridel and Angela De Castro. Her one-woman show Both And (A Play About Laughing While Black) premiered at Boston Court theatre and enjoyed a remount at the Wallis Center for Performing Arts. Some film/TV credits include Snowfall, Lincoln Lawyer, Grey's Anatomy, Riley Parra, Seasons of Love, Castle, NCIS, All My Children, Chemistry, The Young and the Restless and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

  • Work


    Carolyn's artistic voice and writing center around stories that harness joy and humor as a tool of human connection and healing.

    Her one woman show, Both And ( A Play About Laughing While Black) deeply investigates the nucleus of Black joy. As her mother is dying, Teayanna finds herself in a netherworld between life and death as she struggles to help her mother cross over. The journey reveals the wisdom of the ancestors, invokes the legacy of the Middle Passage, and unfolds the surprising secrets within her mother’s purse. This unique and powerful story, rich with humor, raw honesty, and passion, becomes a brilliant meditation on how to reconnect with joy. This show had its world premiere at Boston Court Theatre in May 2022 and was remounted at the Wallis Center for Performing Arts in Jan 2024.

    Unclaimed, her comedic episodic about polyamory, screened at Outfest, London Lesbian Film Festival, Urbanworld, aGLIFF, Atlanta Black Pride Festival, the Baltimore International Film Festival and DTLA Film Festival where it won awards for Best Screenplay and Best Webseries. during 2022-23.


    Selected Theatre, TV, Film

    • Gem of the Ocean, A Noise Within, 2019
    • The Mountaintop, Garry Marshall Theatre, 2019
    • The Cake, Geffen Playhouse, 2018
    • The Cake, Echo Theatre Company, 2017
    • Imaginary Invalid, A Noise Within, 2016
    • Father Comes Home from the Wars, Mark Taper Forum , 2016
    • Pygmalion, Pasadena Playhouse, 2015
    • The Importance of Being Earnest, A Noise Within, 2014


    • “Snowfall” FX Networks, 2019
    • “Seasons of Love” Tello Films, 2019
    • “Riley Parra” Tello Films, 2018
  • Education


    Master of Fine Arts
    M.F.A., University of San Diego, The Old Globe

    B.A., New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

    Professional Experience

    She is a Resident Artist at A Noise Within Theatre and a member of Antaeus Theatre and Ammo Theatre Company.

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Pomona College: Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2019

    Pomona College: Dr. Agnes Moreland Jackson Award from the Office of Black Student Affairs, 2019

    Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Series, 2019