Areas of Specialization: Performance Studies, Media Performance and Installation; Indigenous Performance; Ritual and Shamanism; Acting, Stage Directing, Dramaturgy, and Theatre Theory, Literature and Criticism.
Education: MFA, Boston University, 1982
BA, Cleveland State University, 1978
Further study New York University
Thomas Riccio is a theatre and performance creator, educator and scholar. Prior to UT Dallas he was a professor of Theatre at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and director of Tuma Theatre, an Alaska Native performance company. Prior to Alaska, Riccio was as Artistic Director of the Organic Theatre, Chicago, Resident director and Dramaturg for the Cleveland Play House, and Associate Literary Director at the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. Although trained in Western theatre he has worked extensively in the area of indigenous performance, ritual and shamanism. Riccio has created performances and conducted workshops and research in several African countries, Siberia, Korea, and throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the US.
He has been a visiting professor at the University of Dar es Salaam and the Korean National University for the Arts. His Performing Africa: Re-Mixing Tradition, Theatre, and Culture, was published by Peter Lang in 2007. Since 1994, Riccio has served as artistic director of Litooma, a project dedicated to the documentation and development of indigenous performance.
Riccio is also artistic director of StoryLAB, a post-disciplinary initiative developing new works for theatre, video, and performance. In 2008 Riccio wrote and directed two short works for theatre, Orange Oranges and So There, were produced by Project X, a Dallas performance group, for the Festival of Independent Theatres. His performance immersion adaption of the classic 1920 Expressionistic film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, presented by StoryLAB at UT Dallas, was named by Pegasus News as one of the top ten theatre productions of 2008. He wrote, designed and directed, Some People, which was presented at Water Tower Theatre's Out of the Loop Festival and at Project X during the spring, 2009.
Since 2006 Riccio has worked with Hanson Robotics as a Narrative Engineer creating several robot personalities, which have been presented at the Smithsonian, Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, Wired Magazine's NextFest and The Ingenuity Festival (Cleveland). In 2006 he received an International Distinction in Playwrighting Prize from the Alexander Onassis Foundation; the Jagielonian University Press (Poland) published his essay Rhythm Reality (2008); and his chapter, Body, Space, Place will be included in a new collection of writings on Drama Therapy, published by Springer Publications (2010).
Riccio was a featured artist in Dallas Museum of Art All the World's a Stage exhibit (2009-10). The 2009 Dallas Video Festival premiered his documentary of StoryLAB's performance immersion, There is Never a Reference Point. During the fall of 2009 he was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where conducted research in the areas of contemporary Ethiopian theatre and Orthodox Christian ritual. He conducted workshops at Addis Ababa University, and for Lul Theatre he devised a performance, Andegna (The First).