A theatre artist with over 25 years of experience on and off stage, Richard Wallace is as an established educator, actor, and administrator ranging from community theatre in Florence, AL to the Broadway stage. Richard completed his doctoral studies in Musical Theatre at The University of Alabama in May, 2018. Richard earned a master’s degree Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University with a focus in musical theatre directing and pedagogy and a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts at Birmingham-Southern College. Richard has taken classes in improvisation and sketch comedy at The Upright’s Citizen’s Brigade Theatre as well as multiple master-classes and workshops with a number of Tony Award winning actors, composers, and directors including Hal Prince, Jason Robert Brown, Adam Guettel, and Hamilton’s Jeffrey Seller.
On Broadway, Richard was a teaching artist for shows including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Chicago, Rent, and Wicked. Richard’s coaching clients and students have appeared in the original stage production of Rock of Ages and Cirque du Soleil: Zed and many national tours. Others have gone on to appear on screen in Gossip Girl, Harvey Beek, The Switch, Valentine’s Day, and Tomorrowland. Richard’s former pupils have been accepted to or graduate from Columbia University, New York University, Emerson College, The School of American Ballet, The University of Chicago, and Bennington College. At the collegiate level, Richard serves as an Adjunct faculty member at Shelton State Community College, Alabama’s Community College of the Arts.
Though better known for his work as an instructor and administrator, Richard has appeared in numerous professional, community, and educational productions throughout his career. His New York credits include two productions of The Pirates of Penzance, Tonight at 8:30, Zoo Story, and numerous cabaret appearances at Don’t Tell Mama’s, The Duplex, and Cabaret. Other favorite credits include The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), Brigadoon, Sweeney Todd, Company, Grease, Joseph…, Passion, Godspell, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet.
In 1997, Richard co-founded and currently serves as the Artistic Director of Optidefno, a small theatrical and comedy troupe that has performed around the state of Alabama and in New York City for 20 years. In the early 2000’s Richard was on the staff of The Broadway League, the organization who gives out the Tony Awards. While at the League, Richard worked closely with many Broadway producers and performers in events like The Tony Awards, Broadway in the Park, Stars in the Alley, and Broadway on Broadway. Outside of theatre, Richard worked with The New York Yankees, The US Open, The Ritz Carlton Central Park, The New York School for Strings, Club Med, and served as the “manny” for multiple New York and Los Angeles–based families.
Richard is a native of Florence, AL and currently resides in Tuscaloosa, AL. When not doing the theatre thing, you can find Richard at Bryant-Denny Stadium or Braly Stadium cheering on his two favorite football teams, The Alabama Crimson Tide, and the UNA Lions, watching a Yankees game, or keeping up with his favorite television shows on Hulu and Netflix. Richard is also an accomplished pub-trivia player and his team, Illiterati, is the reigning city champion of Tuscaloosa, and is currently ranked 16th Nationally in Challenge Entertainment Trivia.
Dr. Richard J. Wallace