Laura Rikard

Asheville, NC

Laura (SAG-AFTRA/AEA) is a director, actor, stage movement specialist, intimacy choreographer, Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University of South Carolina Upstate and a founding member of Theatre Intimacy Education.   Directing credits include: The Seagull, Dead Man’s Cellphone, Spring Awakening, 13, the Musical, Romeo and Juliet, and others.  Acting Credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire, By the Bog of Cats, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Rhinoceros, and others. Some Stage Intimacy Choreography includes: Tally’s Folly, Omnium Gatherum, Butterfly Kiss, Spring Awakening, Memory of Water, Refuge, Tall Grass Gothic, Lady Aoi, Agatha Christie’s The Patient, and The Red Paint.   She has worked in film and television, NYC, regionally, on national tours, internationally and devised solo performance productions.  She has been coaching and teaching for 18 years. Former students have won the National Shakespeare Competition at the Lincoln Center, been accepted to top training programs and are currently working on and off Broadway, in professional theatres in Chicago, Los Angeles, London, at top regional theatres and her students can also been seen in numerous films and television series. Some of the places she has taught workshops and presented on International Entertainment and Sports Law Conference, Staging Intimacy at the ATHE Conference, the ATHE Directing Pre-Conference, the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Temple University, and Bucknell University.  She is a member of the SDC, SAFD, ATME, ATHE, VASTA, SAG/AFTRA, AEA, and recently named by Academic Keys as a "Who's Who in Fine Arts Education." She as perviously served as a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, Brown University and the University of Miami. Learn more about Laura at 


In my work as a teaching artist and director I have prioritized creating a safe and communicative atmosphere for actors in training and rehearsal.  I never want actors to feel violated or unsafe in the pursuit of their art.  In my six years as a professor of theatre arts I have used my expertise in Acting Pedagogy and Stage Movement to create a safe, consensual, and communicative environment for actors to explore and stage scenes with physical touch, intimate contact, and sexual violence. Working with mental health specialists and Title IX experts I have created a system for rehearsal and training that is efficient, easily applicable, and creative.   I am eager to share this work with anyone interested in learning, and hope it will contribute to positive initiatives in the industry.