the 29th season of Southern Arena Theatre at The University of Southern
Mississippi progresses through July and early August, Louis Rackoff
joins the Department of Theatre and Dance as its new chair.
As former artistic director of the North Carolina
Shakespeare Festival from 1988 to 2002, where he directed or supervised
more than 60 productions, Rackoff, as an associate professor, will
also head the Master of Fine Arts directing program at Southern
“I’m very honored and privileged
to join the Department of Theatre and Dance at Southern Miss,”
Rackoff said. “The students, faculty and staff are doing wonderful
work in the classrooms, studios, rehearsal halls, shops, theatres,
and offices, and I’m grateful to be part of an extraordinary
Patrons of Southern Miss Theatre already know
Rackoff’s work as he was a visiting guest artist with the
department during the 2004-2005 academic year. He directed the successful
production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Rackoff has guest directed more than 45 productions
at numerous professional theaters and universities throughout the
United States. From 1974 to 1981, he worked as a production stage
manager for the New York Shakespeare Festival, where he directed
a national tour of the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance.
Having received a Master of Fine Arts in directing
from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Rackoff was an assistant
professor of theater at Fordham University at Lincoln Center.
The new chair wants to continue to develop
the department “by focusing on the incredible power and energy
of creative collaboration.”
“We are a dynamic and vital part of the
culture of our university, our wonderful city, and the entire South
Mississippi area,” Rackoff said. “Our goal should be
to present the best theater and dance in our region and to be the
most sought-after place to study these disciplines.”
The department’s SAT summer season will
continue through Aug. 4, offering opportunities for the public to
see some of the finest work in collegiate theater. The main-stage
season opens with Moliere’s Scapin in October 2005.
For show information, call the Southern Miss
Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 800-844-8425 or the department
office at (601) 266-4994.