LeCompte was born and grew up in New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Fine Arts from Skidmore College. With The Wooster Group, she has composed, designed, and directed over forty works for theater, dance, film and video, starting with Sakonnet Point in 1975. These works characteristically interweave performance with multimedia technologies and are strongly influenced by historical and contemporary visual arts and architecture.
LeCompte has lectured and taught at American University, Chicago Art Institute, Columbia University, Connecticut College, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Northeastern University, the O’Neill Center, Smith College, the University of London, and Yale School of Drama.
Among her honors, LeCompte has received the National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished Artists Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, the MacArthur Fellowship, the Chevalier des Artes et Lettres from the French Cultural Ministry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, a United States Artists Fellowship, an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, the Theater Practitioner Award from Theatre Communications Group, The Skowhegan Medal for Performance, a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Performance Artist Award and honorary doctorates from the New School and California Institute of the Arts.