Richard Schechner is a professor of Performance Studies at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, editor of TDR: The Drama Review. His BA is from Cornell University (1956), MA from the University of Iowa (1958), and PhD from Tulane University (1962). Schechner is one of the founders of the Performance Studies department of the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU). He founded The Performance Group of New York in 1967. Schechner was artistic director of The Performance Group from its start in 1967 until 1980 when TPG changed its name to The Wooster Group which continues under the leadership of Elizabeth LeCompte. The home of both TPG and TWG is the Performing Garage in New York's SoHo district, acquired by Schechner in 1968. In 1968, Schechner signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War. In 1992, Schechner founded East Coast Artists, of which he was the artistic director until 2009 when Benjamin Mosse became ECA's artistic director. Schechner continues to work with ECA. In the 1990s, Schechner originated "rasaboxes," a technique of emotional training for performers and others.
Theatres, Spaces, and Environments (1975 with Jerry Rojo and Brooks McNamara)
Essays on Performance Theory (1976)
The End of Humanism (1981)
From the Ramlila to the Avantgarde (1983)
Between Theater and Anthropology (1985)
The Engleburt Stories (1987, with Samuel MacIntosh Schechner)
The Future of Ritual (1993)
Performance Theory (a revised version of Essays on Performance Theory, 1988, revised again, 2004)
Performance Studies—An Introduction (2002, revised second edition 2006)
Over, Under, and Around (2004)
Schechner's books/collections of his writings have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Parsi, Polish, Romanian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovakian, and Spanish.
In March 2005, the Richard Schechner Center for Performance Studies was inaugurated as part of the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where Schechner is an Honorary Professor. With The Performance Group Schechner directed many productions including Dionysus in 69 based on Euripides' The Bacchae (1968), Makbeth based on Shakespeare's Macbeth (1969), Commune group devised piece (1970), Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime (1972), Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children (1975), David Gaard's The Marilyn Project (1975), Seneca's Oedipus (1977), Terry Curtis Fox's Cops (1978), and Jean Genet's The Balcony (1979). With East Coast Artists, Schechner has directed Faust/gastronome (1993), Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters (1995), William Shakespeare's Hamlet (1999), and Schechner's and Saviana Stanescu's YokastaS (2003, YokastaS Redux 2005), Lian Amaris's Swimming to Spalding (2009). Schechner has also directed in Asia and Africa: Anton Chekhov's Cherry ka Baghicha (1983 in Hindi) in New Delhi, Sun Huizhu's Mingri Jiuyao Chu Shan (1989 in Shanghai in Mandarin) August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1992) at the Grahamstown Festival, South Africa, Aeschylus's The Oresteia (1995 in Taipei in Mandarin), and Shakespeare's Hamlet (2007 in Shanghai and 2009 in Wroclaw, Poland, in Mandarin), Imagining O (2011) at the University of Kent, UK.
While in New Orleans from 1960–67, Schechner was a producing director with John O'Neal and Gilbert Moses of the Free Southern Theater (1963–65) and a founding director with Franklin Adams and Paul Epstein of the New Orleans Group (1964–67). Schechner is editor of the Enactments series published by Seagull Books and editor of the Worlds of Performance series published by Routledge.