Interview with Creative Director, Robert Richmond

Robert Richmond

Full Circle Productions

An Interview with Creative Director, Robert Richmond on touring The Pavilion, USC, and creating a professional theatre in residence

FCP: Why create a professional theatre in residence?

RR: There are many examples of universities across the nation that have adopted the model of a theatre in residence. The premise is simple. The academy should embrace and learn from artists and practitioners, and the students experience professional theatre in an immersive, and experiential environment. This model has proved that skills and competencies are gain first hand. In many ways, it is an apprenticeship style of learning. Furthermore, the state of South Carolina does not have a professional theatre company in residence and it should.

FCP: Why the name Full Circle Productions?

RR: The core ensemble members all have an association with Columbia and USC. After many years of pursuing our individual careers, and for many and diverse reasons, we found ourselves back in Columbia. We had all come Full Circle by happenstance.

FCP: How was your first year as Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance?

RR: It was quiet a ride! But I still hold tight to the idea that I can serve and make substantial changes for the good of the department, the students we teach, and the Carolina family.

FCP: Why tour The Pavilion and what made you choose this play?

RR: The Pavilion is an important story for our time. It is a reflection on how Time waits for no one, and a cautionary tale that tells us that we much live large for each moment. The past is prologue, the future is now. It is funny, sad, philosophical and charming. These are all great ingredients for a play. By touring theatre we meet and tell our story with a new community at every performance. It is refreshing and exciting. The Pavilion is a perfect story for our company and our mission.

Catch it again on March 23rd and 25th at the Oklahoma City University Black Box Theatre at 8:00 PM! 

FCP: Where do you see FCP, USC and live theatre in five years?

RR: Well, USC will be a permanent home for Full Circle Productions. It will offer internships to graduate students, hire professional artists on a living wage, and provide the theatre patrons for Columbia a top quality theatre productions that will provoke change and reflect what it means to live as an American right here, and right now. In five years live theatre will be a cool date and young people will flock to the box office. That is how I imagine the next five years.


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