Rachel Bowditch (Phd) is a theatre director, an Associate Professor, Head of the MFA in Performance, and the Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Film, Dance, and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Her areas of specialty are the Lecoq method, Rasaboxes, mask, devising, site-specific theatre, immersive theatre, incorporating innovative technology into performance, festival and utopian theory, and performance studies. She is the author of three books: On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man (2010/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), Performing Utopia (2017/University of Chicago Press/Seagull), and Physical Dramaturgy: Perspectives from the Field (2018/Routledge) with Jeff Casazza and Annette Thornton. She is currently working on a book under contract with Routledge about Richard Schechner’s performance workshop and rasaboxes with Paula Murray Cole and Michele Minnick (expected publication 2019). Her work has been published in TDR (The Performance Review), Performance Research, Theatre Topics, the Journal of Media and Religion, Ecumenica, and Puppetry International as well as book chapters in Festive Devils in the Americas edited by Milla Riggio and Paolo Vignolo, Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man edited by Samantha Krukowski, and Focus on World Festivals edited by Chris Newbold. She presents both her scholarship and theatre research at theatre conferences nationally and internationally.
She has was a recent Fellow at the Harvard Mellon Institute for Performance Research in 2018. She has received competitive funding from the Map Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Network of Ensemble Theatres NET/TEN Exchange Grant, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her performance and directing work specializing in devising, site-specific, and physical theatre, tackle challenging social issues from suicide, addiction, madness, forced relocation, the death penalty, and colonization has been seen at theatres and venues such as Childsplay, Mixed Blood, Northwest Children's Theatre, the Denver Center, Mesa Arts Center, Phoenix Art Museum, IDEA Museum, and Scottsdale Public Art. Her artistic work has been featured and reviewed in The Director's Vision by Scott Shattuck, Digital Media, Projection Design, and Technology for Theatre by Alex Oliszewski and Daniel Fine (Routledge), New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Theatre Journal, Newsweek, American Theatre, The Sun (NYC), The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Live Design, Rolling Stone, Vogue Italia, U.S. Airways Magazine, Channel 12 News, Channel 8/PBS, ABC 15 News, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minneapolis Daily Planet, Aisle Say Twin Cities, TYA Today, the Phoenix New Times and Arizona Republic among other publications. As a Burning Man scholar, she has been attending the event since 2001. For directing work visit: www.vesselproject.org