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Rick DesRochers

Rick DesRochers

Associate Professor of Theatre

B.A., Arizona State UniversityM.F.A., University of Massachusetts AmherstPh.D., City University of New York Graduate Center


Rick DesRochers is an Associate Professor of Theatre at LIU Post, and an Associate Artist at the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference.  He has served as the Literary Director of New Play and Musical Development for the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and The Goodman Theatre of Chicago, as well as the Artistic Director of the New Theatre in Boston.  He is a member of the Society for Stage Directors and Choreographers, and in New York City he has been director and dramaturg for several theater companies including the New York Music Theatre Festival, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Young Playwrights' Inc., Rude Mechanicals, and for regional theaters across the country including The Playwrights' Center of Minneapolis and Chicago Dramatists, as well as internationally for the Soho Theatre of London.  He has taught in theatre departments across the country including the New York University Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program, New School University, and Emerson College. Professor DesRochers holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in stage direction and dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Masters of Philosophy and a Ph.D. in theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is currently working on a new book for Palgrave Macmillan, The New Humor in the Progressive Era - Americanization and the Vaudeville Comedian.


Theatre History; Dramaturgy; Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama; Directing; Early Cinema History; Performance Studies; Political Theatre Studies; U.S. and Caribbean Theatre Studies


The Comic Offense - from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy: Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle. Bloomsbury Books, Spring 2014.
Playing Director. Heinemann Educational Books.

“Destabilizing Vaudeville and the Party of the Third Part: The Marx Brothers and the Transition from Vaudeville to Broadway” for The Journal of Popular Culture, Wiley-Blackwell Publications.

"Bard Barkers: Dario Fo, Tom Waits, and Eddie Izzard." Mid-Atlantic Almanack,

“Looking Behind the Mirror of Life: The Subtext is the Surface in Ivo van Hove’s Production of Molière’s The Misanthrope.” TheatreForum.

“Where Do New Plays Come From? New Play Development and the Non-Profit Regional Theatre Continuum in the United States.”  The Drama Review (TDR).

Lectures and Presentations

Guest Lecturer for the LIU Post Library in conjunction with the American Library Association - "A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs.” (2012)

Hutton House Guest Lecturer – Antigone (September) and Side Show: The Musical (2011)

Guest Lecturer for Honors Conference “Follow Your Passion”:       “Pursuing a Career in the Performing Arts” (2011)

Guest Speaker and Presenter for LIU Post Lecture Series on Abraham Lincoln: “The Gettysburg Address:  Politics Overlaps Performance” (2011)

Guest Lecturer for Honors Conference on “Communication”: “The Twenty-First
Century of Celebrity as Voice of the People” (2010)

Provost’s Convocation LIU Post – Guest Speaker, (2009)


New York Directing (selected):
Tectonic Disaster/Brilliant Coma by Michael Walek - Theatre Row, 42nd Street, NYC
In Plain View by Vita Carson - YPI at Classic Stage Company
River’s End a new musical by Larkin and Coons* - New York Musical Theater Fest
* Winner Best New Musical of the New York Musical Theater Festival (TAM) Award

U.S. Regional Directing/Dramaturgy:
A Man, His Wife, and His Hat by Lauren Yee - PlayPenn New Play Conference
The Specificity of Paradise by John Orlock - PlayPenn New Play Conference   
Saving Grace by James McLindon - PlayPenn New Play Conference
The Rant by Andrew Case - New Jersey Rep; PlayPenn
Malignance by Eric Pfeffinger - PlayPenn New Play Conference
Vegas Baby! co-written with Gerrit O’Neill - Live Bait Theatre, Chicago


  • Recipient, The Sue Rosenberg Zalk Travel and Research Fund Award, The Graduate Center, City University of New York


  • Consultant/On-camera Interview Subject/Expert, “Vaudeville,” documentary for Cirque du Soleil (2009)


PlayPenn New Play Development Conference: Associate Artist, Conference Dramaturg, and co-curator.
Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC)
American Theatre and Drama Society (ATDS)
Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)