Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Professor, School of Theater
Mail Stop: Honors College, MSN 1F4
Rick Davis is Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Executive Director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center, and Professor of Theater. From 1991 until the company’s closure in 2012, he was artistic director of Mason’s professional theater company, Theater of the First Amendment (TFA). Under his leadership, TFA became one of the Washington area’s most respected theaters, winning twelve Helen Hayes Awards and producing more than twenty world premieres.
Before coming to Mason, Rick was Associate Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage, and has directed both theater and opera across the country. His books include Calderon de la Barca: Four Great Plays of the Golden Age, as well as two volumes co-authored with Brian Johnston (Ibsen: Four Major Plays and Ibsen In an Hour), and Writing About Theatre with Christopher Thaiss. His translations have been produced in regional theaters and universities from coast to coast. He is the librettist for Stations of Mychal, a song cycle premiering in New York City on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, with music by Kevin Salfen, and Love’s Comedy, an opera with music by Kim D. Sherman, with whom he also wrote a critically acclaimed oratorio, The Songbird and the Eagle, premiered by the San José Chamber Orchestra. He has contributed entries to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World and the Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama, as well as writing essays and reviews for a variety of journals and magazines. He has received the Mason Teaching Excellence Award and was named Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year. He holds a B.A. from Lawrence University and an M.F.A. and D.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.