Anita Rich

A photo of Anita Rich

Professor of Interpretation/Performance Studies

School of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts

714G Pray Harrold


[email protected]


Anita has a real passion for engaging students in the classroom, co-curricular projects and beyond. She is proud to have been honored for teaching excellence by the Central States Communication Association, as well as in 2008, when she was awarded an EMU Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award. One of her joys is exposing students to performance studies festivals where they explore various notions and emergent theories of performance and text. An expert in interactive theatre methodologies and applied performance, she is the director of EMU's 6 Figures Playback Theatre founded a decade ago. Especially innovative, this performance group and courses such as Interactive Theatre utilize techniques to engage audiences in addressing social issues and creating safe environments for dialogue. Currently Anita is working on two grants which give a sense of her service and outreach with this type of work. One is an Academic Service-Learning grant in which Anita has created and implemented performative workshops for men in prison contexts. The second is an EMU Women in Philanthropy grant which supports a new interdisciplinary project serving the university and beyond. This collaboration between CMTA and WGST allows EMU students to incorporate interactive modes of inquiry including playback, image, forum, newspaper theatre, etc. into their mentoring efforts with girls in after school programs. Anita has presented papers and performances at numerous national and regional conferences in performance studies, theatre and communication. She was especially pleased to have served as guest artist/visiting professor for Japan's Ibaraki University, the Petit Jean Performance festival in Arkansas and Alma College here in Michigan. In addition to teaching and creative/scholarly efforts, Anita has been an active representative on national, regional and numerous university committees. Her interdisciplinary approach and performance studies background along with her energy and passion have enabled her to work, engage and explore performance in rich ways with a wide range of audiences in various contexts. She looks forward to continuing this breadth and depth of work and service in the years ahead.


  • Ph.D., Performance Studies, Southern Illinois University, 1996
  • MS, Speech Communication (Concentration: Performance Studies), Southern Illinois University, 1989
  • BS, Theatre, Ball State University, 1986


  • CTAO 210 Interpretative Reading
  • CTAO 411 Adapting and Directing Literature
  • CTAO 415 Performing Personal Narratives and Oral Histories
  • CTAO 540 Personal Narratives and Oral Histories in Performance
  • CTAO 542 Adapting and Directing Narrative Theatre
  • CTAO 684 Workshop: Interactive Theatre


  • CMTA Comprehensive, BA, major and minor
  • Interpretation and Performance Studies, MA

Professional Affiliations

  • Central States Communication Association
  • International Playback Network
  • National Communication Association
  • Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO)
  • Playback Theatre in North America