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

Directors Lab, Chicago

Korean National University for the Arts

Korean National University for the Arts

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

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

Zulu Township

Zulu Township

Dead White Zombies, Workshop

Dead White Zombies, Workshop


Indigenous cultures share variations and degrees of a very a different world, one that is organized around an earth-centric community of place inhabited by humans, animals, elements, the climate, the spirits and ancestors. In indigenous performance these elements are given form and expression. To the western eye they seem strange and exotic, when they are in fact functional, performed interactions with a dynamic, macrocosmic reality. Performance and ritual within the indigenous worldview is practical and functional, enacting real change, as it serves to celebrate, reiterate, and balance and maintain community. Humans, being the greatest benefactors and most enabled of the worlds inhabitants, are responsible for the enactment of performance.


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

Tribhuvan University, Nepal


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

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.
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.