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Encyclopedia > Thomas Riccio

THOMAS RICCIO is a Professor of Performance Studies and Artistic Director of Story Lab at the University of Texas at Dallas [1]. Previous positions include Professor of Theatre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks[2], Artistic Director of Chicago's Organic Theater Company [3] and the Dramaturg/Resident Director at the Cleveland Play House[4]. He also served as Associate Literary Director at the American Repertory Theatre[5] at Harvard and was research assistant to Robert Brustein [6]. As a free-lance director he stage production at the Teatro d’ Roma (national theatre of Italy) [7], La Mama ETC [8], and The New York Theatre Workshop [9], among others. He received his MFA from Boston University [10] and studied in the PhD program in Performance Studies at New York University [11]. He has directed nearly on hundred plays in nearly every genre. In recent years he has worked extensively in the area of indigenous performance, serving as Artistic Director of Tuma Theatre [12], an Alaska Native performance group in Fairbanks. He has developed and directed performances with the Zulu of South Africa, the Sakha National Theatre[13] of central Siberia, the Greenland Inuit, several tribal groups in Zambia, Sri Lankan Tamils, the !Xuu and Khwe Bushmen of the lower Kalahari, and a pre-Christian Slavic group in St. Petersburg. He has conducted workshops and presented lectures throughout the U.S. and Internationally he has conducted workshops and/or lectures in Sweden, Germany, Finland, England, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, Zambia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Kenya, Poland and Burkina Faso. He was a Visiting Professor at the Korean National University for the Arts[14], The University of Dar es Salaam, and The California Institute of Integral Studies [15] where he taught Drama Therapy. His play, Comeback Für Elvis, was produced by Frankfurt’s Kleist Theatre[16] and ran in repertory for a year. For the Fairbanks Drama Association he wrote and directed a highly acclaimed production of Pipe Dreams, a play based on oral histories from the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. His academic writings have appeared in TDR[17], TheatreForum [18], Theatre Topics, Theatre Research International, Performing Arts Journal, and Shamans Drum [19]. Mellen Press published his book, Reinventing Traditional Alaska Native Performance[20] in 2003. He and has been the recipient of several national and international grants for his scholarship and intercultural work, among them: a APPEX (Asian Pacific Performance Exchange) [21] fellowship at UCLA, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Finnish Volunteer Serviced, the US Information Service, the Embassy of the Netherlands, The British Council, the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the Swedish International Development Agency, among others. For several years he served as a panelist and dramaturg for the Edward Albee, Last Frontier Theatre Conference [22]in Valdez, Alaska. His current interests include performance and research projects with the Miao people China with whom he has conduced research in folk and Shamanic performance. Recently he conducted workshops at the Kenya National Theatre [23] link title, Nairobi with his article on CHAPS Kenyan puppet theatre [24]appearing in PAJ, Performing Arts Journal[25] (2004). He has recently completed a novel and is currently completing his book of travel stories. In 2005 he conducted workshops at Jagiellonian University [26] and the National Drama School in Krakow, Poland [27]. He is currently working on several Immersion Narrative and Cyber Ritual projects for the Story Lab, collaboration with the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering[28] at the University of Texas at Dallas. Among the projects Kartasi (Fall 2003 and 04) [29] There is Never a Reference Point, (Spring 2006) a walk through performance environment based on the writings of a woman with multiple personality disorder. His most recent book, Peter Lang Publishers will publish, Performing Africa:Remixing Culture, Theatre and Tradition, in 2007. During the fall of 2006 The University of Texas at Dallas produced Alpha Male [30] a play he wrote and directed. The Alexander S. Onassis Foundation[31] awarded Riccio a Distinction Prize for his play Inuit in September, 2006. The prize included a 15,000 Euro award. For more information: www.thomas-riccio.net [32]



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