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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

News Release

School of Arts and Humanities

News contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UTD, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]

U.T. Dallas Expands Its Theatre Program
With Appointment of Educator-Director Riccio

Thomas RiccioRICHARDSON, Texas (June 16, 2003) - The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) is expanding its theatre program for the 2003-04 academic year with the hiring of Thomas Riccio, who is widely recognized for his work on multicultural theatre projects as both an educator and a director.

Riccio is joining UTD as a professor of theatre, and starting in late August, he will begin working with other arts faculty at the university in the areas of theatre, music and dance to build a performance program that will be incorporated into the overall interdisciplinary goals of UTD's School of Arts and Humanities. He also will help develop new curriculum and will meet with Dallas area theatre leaders in an effort to bring unique cultural productions to the Metroplex.

"We are excited to be adding someone of Thomas' stature, knowledge of the theatre and extraordinary creativity to our rapidly growing theatre effort at UTD," said Dr. Dennis Kratz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities. "He will help us take our program to the next level, both in terms of new course development and theatrical performances, and he will assist us in forging all-important relationships with local theatre groups."

Riccio comes to UTD from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, where he helped establish the theatre program and developed seven new courses during his tenure. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea. He has worked in such places as South Africa, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Russia, Siberia, Denmark and China, primarily on cultural theatre and native dance productions, but also as an instructor.

"I am excited to be part of UTD's ambitious and enlightened initiative. The university is cutting-edge with its interdisciplinary approach, which blends, bends and explores the boundaries between the traditional arts and emerging technology, high art and popular culture," Riccio said.

Riccio received his MFA in theatre education from Boston University, doing further work with New York University's performance studies program. During his career he has directed and written numerous professional productions, including off-Broadway in New York, in Frankfurt, Germany, and at Italy's National Theatre. He was the artistic director of Chicago's Organic Theatre and resident director at the Cleveland Play House. His articles have appeared in international journals and his book, entitled Reinventing Traditional Alaska Native Performance (Mellen Press) was published this spring. For more information about his work, visit www.thomasriccio.com

About UTD
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 13,000 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's Web site at http://www.utdallas.edu.

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