Performance Training

His methods go deeper than the professional, actorial level. Wherever he goes, forever will remain that which he gave us—that which he taught us. Thomas Riccio has opened to us our inner world and began to combine it with the outer.
— Yakuta Daily News (Siberia)
For a week you were able to share with performers from throughout West Africa your knowledge and experience combining popular and traditional performance. Your workshops will no doubt have a profound impact and will be felt in the next generations of the companies from which these young performers belong. Your ability to bridge between your methods and the objectives of the festival made for a very successful exchange. My sincere thanks.
— Jean Guingane, Directeur FITMO Burkina Faso
Korean National University for the Arts

Korean National University for the Arts

Riccio’s major focus was on teaching the actors how to use their bodies to understand and feel their characters. “Gestures and body language are part of the vocabulary of performers. You have to feel everything with the mind and the body. It is an important foundation for every actor,”
— from an interview Kathmandu Post

Center for the Arts, Lusaka, Zambia


Zulu Township Workshop


Dead White Zombies, Workshop


Metamorphosis Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia


Sakha National Theatre, central Siberia




!Xuu and Khwe Bushman, Kalahari

Sharing with  you the joy of life at this point is a privileged moment for me.  I share with you a noble sense of living with full of joy, zeal and vigor. I do cherish an iconic image of life, art and service from you. I imbibe from you sincere dedication to profession and love of life of freedom. You are my role model in both life and profession. 
— Dhruba Karki, Tribuvan University, Nepal
Without Mr. Riccio’s tireless input this project would not have been possible. He has shown an uncanny ability of walking into a foreign culture and developing a theatre language that transcends all barriers.
— Themi Venturas, Kwasa Group, South Africa
Using his understanding of the Yup’ik performance traditions as a basis, Thomas evolved the workshop into a model of the collective creative process. This process illustrated, in a very practical way, how the Yup’ik have lived with their land, climate, and animals. This understanding empowered the participants with their own culture as it promoted a deeper understanding, and put a truer meaning behind the significance of traditional performance.
— Cynthia Simpson-Sugar, Kuskokwim College, Bethel, Alaska
II would like to thank you very much for coming and spending time with us. The students in Art and Society, Art Management and Administration, African Theatre and Art Communication and Social Mobilization where you taught were quite inspired by your lectures. The participants will never forget your Director’s Workshop and I hope that you will return someday to see their work. Your stay was short and we would really love to have you come for a longer period. You have such valuable experience that we would like you to share it with us and hopefully you can also add to that experience with your work here.
— Amandina Lihainba, Dean, Arts and Performance University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
When I joined Tuma, I faced some of my greatest fears about why I felt like a sick person. Tuma and Tom Riccio changed me forever. My world began to open. Wrongs toward my people were being acknowledged, the power of the people who once were was being asked for, and it was safe for me to grieve and ask for myself. I was with Tuma for three years, and with every year, I grew. I became empowered, confident, and learned to focus my rage in a different way. Now I am more expressive and have a deeper understanding of what happened in my people’s past and what is happening now and what I can do about it.
— Wilma Brown, Tuma Theatre, Alaska
The workshop’s focus was on reimaginging the performance of ourselves. What I discovered was that such a thing cannot be given a word, a compartment or a ‘logical’ explanation. What the workshop taught me was that the structure of knowing obstructs our ability to know. What stood out for me most was my need to embrace my own culture. To do so is to embrace elements intrinsic to what we call Western and move in and through them rather than to “cut them out’.
— Danielle Ray, California Institute of Integral Studies
Chair of the Department of Black Studies, wishes me to convey his thanks for serving as a guest lecturer in his Introduction to Black Studies class. Both students and faculty at Wooster have benefited from your visit and have been inspired by the your passion, creativity and independence of thought. The insights you shared with us will undoubtedly spur us on to future explorations. We look forward to having you visit with us again.
— Dr. Dale Seeds, College of Wooster, Ohio
Thank you for the workshops you have conducted at the National Theatre of Kenya. Your workshops on creating puppets and objects, and presenting the story of AIDS, have been enriching as well as inspiring to Kenyan youth in general and artistes in particular. Thank you for your invaluable time and we look forward to having you once more for a longer period.
— S.L. Anami Minister of Culture, Kenya
Coming at a time of Sakha cultural re-evaluation and exploration, Mr. Riccio’s work here has contributed greatly to our awareness, lending a needed new perspective to our theatrical self-definition. In concurrence with the producer of both the Yakut Russian Theatre and the Sakha National Theatre, I have extended an invitation for Mr. Riccio to return to our Republic to continue his association with us.
— A. S. Borisov Minister of Culture, Republic of Sakha
A ritual preparation created by Metamorphosis Theatre, under the direction of Thomas Riccio. The group applied the performance languages of Slavic, pre-Christian ritual to create a preparation for ritual based performance creation work. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1992. The video was shot in a Soviet chemical factory where the group rehearsed. The stage was formerly used for propaganda meetings and rallies.
Thomas Riccio is an educator and scholar whose excellence emanates from within. His interaction with students and colleagues alike is sincere, enthusiastic, and soulful...he draws from personal experiences of growth cultivated through his world travels, life long research and scholarship, and diverse human interaction. His approach reflects that of Paulo Freire whose pedagogy nurtures learning from life experiences and the circumstances of daily life.
— Scott Branks del Llano, Professor, Richland College, Dallas
A ritual preparation created through workshop explorations conducted by Thomas Riccio at the Sakha National Theatre, central Siberia, summer 1993.
A short documentation of a Ritual Preparation exercise created by Tukak' Teatert, under the direction of Thomas Riccio, 1992. Tukak' is a Greenland Inuit company formerly based in Jutland, Denmark, a converted farm on the North Sea.