Richard Kemp

  • Professor- Head of Acting and Directing

Originally from London, Rick trained with Philippe Gaulier and Monika Pagneux in Paris and holds a B.A. / M.A. from Oxford University, and an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught at leading universities and drama schools worldwide, including Rose Bruford College, Mountview Theatre Conservatory, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in the USA. He is currently Professor of Theatre and Head of Acting and Directing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and is the author of Embodied Acting: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Performance (Routledge 2012) and the co-editor and author of The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq (Routledge 2016) and The Routledge Companion to Theatre, Performance and Cognitive Science (Routledge, forthcoming). Following the publication of Embodied Acting, Rick has been invited to speak and guest teach at numerous institutions around the world, including Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), The Helsinki Theatre Arts Academy, The International Platform for Performer Training in Zurich, the Performance, Art, Critique, Experimentation (PACE) Conference at London’s University of the Arts, the Convention on Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB), The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Shakespeare Association of America, the American Society of Theatre Researchers, the Association of Theater in Higher Education, York St. John University (UK), the Canadian Association for Theatre Research, Oxford University’s Cognitive Futures Conference, and the Salzburg Global Seminar on Neuroscience and Art.

Rick has received awards internationally for his work as an actor and director, including the Institut Français Award for Theatre and the USA’s Heinz Endowments Creative Heights Award for his clown show e-lectricity. He has appeared at theatres such as London’s Almeida, BAC, Cockpit, Riverside Studios, Soho, Tricycle, and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre, Toronto’s Harbourfront, New York’s Perry St. Theatre, Madrid’s Círculo de Bellas Artes, Warsaw’s Teatr Polski and the Bouffes du Nord in Paris, toured his solo clown show Coming Home internationally, and worked with companies such as Complicite, Moving Parts, the Oxford Playhouse, and the 1982 Co. As the co-founder and joint Artistic Director of London’s Commotion Theatre Company, he created six original devised shows, receiving multiple Critics Choice accolades from The Guardian and Time Out London, and the British Telecom/EMA Innovations Award.

In the USA, directing credits include Hamlet and Riddley Walker for The Pittsburgh Playhouse, his own play, Shrew, and The Comedy of Errors for the Unseam’d Shakespeare Company, eight multi-media productions for Squonk Opera (Inferno, Rodeo Smackdown, Astrorama, Pittsburgh the Opera, Mayhem and Majesty, Go Roadshow, Pneumatica and CycleSonic) and new plays by Anna Moench (In Quietness) and Caridad Svich (The Monster in the Garden). He has performed in numerous productions for Quantum Theatre, and with 404 Strand devised and performed The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, The Museum of Desire, and faustUS.

Education & Training

  • PhD - Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2010
  • MFA - Performance Pedagogy, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • MA, English Literature, Oxford University, 1990
  • BA, English Literature, Oxford University, 1980