Richard V. Riddell
Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies

Richard Riddell has had a career as a scholar, professional lighting designer, and administrator. He led the Department of Theater Studies (formerly Program in Drama) from 1992 to 2003, then served in the university administration from 2004 to 2020, retiring from administration as senior vice president and secretary to the Board of Trustees. A graduate of Knox College and Stanford University, he has published articles on education and the arts, design, and European theater in The New York Times , The Chronicle of Higher Education , American Theater , The Drama Review , and other publications. He has received the Tony, Drama Desk, and Maharam Awards for excellence in lighting design and has designed productions on Broadway and at resident theater and opera companies in the United States and Great Britain, including the American Repertory Theatre, the English National Opera, the New York City Opera, the La Jolla Playhouse, the Guthrie, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He designed the lighting for the premieres of three operas by Philip Glass: Satyagraha , Akhnaten (also collaborating on the libretto), and The Fall of the House of Usher . Prior to coming to Duke, he was chairman of the Department of Theater at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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