"Richard Stockton Rand is a great teacher and a great artist, and these attributes are not unrelated. He represents the theatre and the University wonderfully well."
TESTIMONY FROM FACULTY
"Rich Rand is a dynamo of a man. I admire him, and if I could start my life over I’d like to be like him. He has the soul of a poet and the passion of a politician, but he’s also got the imagination of a wonderful artist. That sounds a little soft, but he’s got a hard discipline. He’s not patient enough to let something integrate into his life – he makes it happen, he’s exacting."
Jim Hancock, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas-Austin
“I believe that the crisis in American acting is not simply an issue of aspiring actors and their misconceptions of the art form, or their aversion to working obsessively hard on their craft. The swamp of mediocrity also has a great deal to do with the training itself. Overall, it’s just not that good. What qualifies someone to teach acting? In many cases it takes no more than a few notebooks and memories of classes taken years ago...And then there are the casting directors, agents and managers who charge hundreds of dollars to lure people into thinking they have anything of substance to offer beyond line readings and a “Good job”. That said, we do have many wonderful teachers thriving in theater departments of universities all over the country; passionate, inspiring, demanding and energetic teachers who have made profound impacts on the students who have crossed their path; those that consider teaching as an art form, who have an inviolate sense of truth and an ability to communicate and instill the important fundamental skills that any serious actor should strive to master. I was fortunate to have studied under Rich Rand at Purdue in the late 80’s, and with Maggie Flanigan and Bill Esper in Rutgers MFA program in the late 90’s. But there are thousands of young actors who aren’t that lucky. They flock to LA and NYC with a dream, but not much insight on how to vet and interview prospective teachers and programs. Rare now is the artist who devotes their life’s work to the art and craft of teaching acting.”
Charlie Sandlan, Executive Director and Senior Acting Teacher, Maggie Flanigan Studio
“Thank you for an amazing presentation! I know it really resonated with the students. I see why you’ve won your teaching awards. It was a gift!”
Professor Charles Gick, Department of Art & Design, Purdue University
"Rich is the finest teacher we have on the faculty. The students treasure his work in the studio and in the rehearsal hall…He has served theatre well in being the chief recruiter…shaping enormous changes to the curriculum, guiding students’ career decisions, and remaining a mentor long after graduation."
Russ Jones, Professor and Chair of Theatre (1998-2008), Purdue University
"Rand came to us with international acclaim as a…teacher. [His] contributions to our program have been of the highest caliber. The range of his teaching expertise is impressive. At the same time, Rand’s rapport with students permits him to be both nurturing and critical. These are rare attributes in instruction and justify the designation of master teacher."
Gil Lazier, Dean Emeritus of FSU School of Theatre, past-president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and one of a hundred formally acknowledged world leaders in theatre.
"Professor Rand has been an outstanding teacher in each and every class that he has taught. His students rave about him and consistently achieve beyond what might be expected in the development of their natural talent. He is a disciplined but also a caring teacher, one whose ego is invested not in himself, but rather in the accomplishments that his students will achieve…I know student after student who feels that their life has been significantly and positively affected by their connection with Professor Rand."
Jim O’ Connor, Professor Emeritus and Former Chair, University of South Carolina/Purdue Theatre
“What a marvelous production you have created with the team at NAFA! The way you used the space to tell the story was creative and inspiring. My students and colleagues truly appreciated your professionalism and artistry. We are really fortunate to have you at NAFA sharing your expertise with the Department. We really hope and expect that you’ll come back to NAFA to direct and teach in the near future. On behalf of the students and the department, thank you again for all you’ve done for us.”
Professor Wenhai Ma, Head of the Department of Theatre, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
“Thank you for an amazing presentation! I know it really resonated with the students. I see why you’ve won your teaching awards. It was a gift!”
Professor Charles Gick, Department of Art & Design, Purdue University
"[Rand] is an extraordinary teacher. He is held in the highest esteem by his colleagues (both professional and academic) and students alike. He brings to the classroom a tremendous integrity for the work and a sensitivity to the needs and struggles of the student, combined with a strong demand for disciplined excellence."
Marya Lowry, Senior Lecturer, Brandeis University
"Rich is a caring, devoted and gifted teacher…who can work with both advanced and introductory students. He is a director of subtlety and depth, and an excellent colleague…I consider him to be one of the real strengths of the Purdue theatre program."
Dr. Annie McGregor, Professor of Theatre, Penn State University
"I had the good fortune to be able to hire Rand as a Visiting Professional Guest Artist for the spring semester. He proved to be an invaluable part of this program. He was able to bring many students to new levels of performance and inspire in them a new-found devotion to their craft. He was able to work with tremendous patience, with students of widely varying abilities and experience, and work to establish a strong feeling of ensemble. The students were often overwhelmed with the range of skills he had to offer them. However, Rand was excellent at establishing students differing needs and strengths and working individually with them. He was always eager to discuss the students' work with me and other faculty, and happy to incorporate our assessment of students' needs into his teaching -- I have tremendous respect for Richard Rand's talents and abilities."
Dr. Cynthia Dillon, Professor, New Mexico State University
"What Professor Rand very clearly and precisely does in every situation is conduct and guide the learning situation with care, love and thorough preparation. He instills the reward of growth in each of his students, and nurtures each student to participate in the learning process as thoroughly as himself. He is an absolutely excellent role model, amazingly consistent in his demeanor as he is in our teaching laboratory."
Retired Professor Stan Abbott, Purdue University
"Quite simply, Rich is a brilliant teacher of movement and acting. He instills in his students a strong work ethic in conjunction with a great passion for the art. He is able to synthesize the external work with the internal work, thus enabling his students to realize what it means to be a 'total actor.'… This is the kind of person Rich is: always there to help, always ready with his intelligence, talent and energy. I couldn’t ask for a better colleague."
Retired Professor Jim Wise, Penn State University
“I truly appreciated the opportunity to do this role…and valued your guidance, generosity and humanity to your cast. You truly built a trust and respect among the cast. Thank you for reawakening my passion for acting. This journey is one that will stay with me.”
Professor Richard Sullivan Lee, Purdue University
"Rand approached each segment of his assignment with enthusiasm and unbridled vigor, whether it was teaching the students about Commedia Dell'Arte, working with a cast on character analysis, or talking production concepts with the design staff. Rich was also kind enough to come in to my History course to lecture. He captured the students’ attention instantly and kept them interested throughout the various lectures. He is a gifted teacher and was such a positive influence on our program. I could go on for pages..."
Shan Ayers, Berea College
"Rich Rand has an outstanding reputation here on campus and is without a doubt one of the finest instructors we have at Purdue."
Sara Jane Coffman, CIS Instructional Developer
"I am writing regarding a remarkable teaching collaboration…My students found the fact that an actor or actress could interpret their work and perform it live absolutely enthralling. Professor Rand’s commitment to teaching, and obvious zeal for collaboration and interdisciplinary learning helped guide and shape these tremendously effective exercises."
Professor Rob Davidson, Department of English, Chico State University
"Congratulations on receiving the Excellence in Teaching Award! Your talents have been recognized on numerous occasions as both a teacher and an artist…I am so pleased that you came to Purdue and are sharing your talents with us (I include myself!).
Distinguished Professor Emerita Dorothy Mennen, Purdue University
"The scope of your knowledge was and is frankly impressive. Your integration of anthropological, cross cultural, historical and biological facts conveyed a truly operational holistic appreciation of the human condition and of individuals. As you know, this was the first time in the more than fifteen years of our program that a non-analyst has been invited to offer a training weekend for our faculty and students. Its success is all the more significant in that it was truly ground-breaking. A new precedent has been established. Be assured that the weekend will remain a high point in our institutional memory. You have left no doubt about the contribution theatre and acting has to make to the training of therapists and analysts."
Donna Marie Flanagan, CG Jung Institute of Chicago
"For four years Rich Rand served as ESA’s Artistic Director of Drama. His responsibilities entailed working with the other professional choreographers and music coaches to construct a two hour show which would tour throughout 7 European countries and be seen by tens of thousands of people…Rich has a unique ability to work with, direct and motivate students. I can honestly say that I have never encountered a deeper, more healthy student/teacher relationship. Rich has stretched his pupils beyond anyone’s expectation to bring out the very best in them artistically, and opened their eyes to their potential, inspiring them in their pursuit of a professional career. Mr. Rand has also made significant contributions to ESA’s leadership staff, working extremely well with his fellow colleagues…I would categorize Mr. Rand as a man with a conscience. He is unselfish, willing to work and extend himself far beyond any contract to get the job done, cooperative, extremely considerate, industrious, artistically creative, reasonable, sensitive yet to the point, conceptual, unmistakenly reliable and has demonstrated an exemplary character during these past four years…I count it as a great privilege to have Mr. Rand as a part of ESA’s artistic staff."
Randy Sykes, Executive Director, Extraordinary Students of America
TESTIMONY FROM STUDENTS AND ALUMNI
"As a graduate teaching assistant under Professor Rand, I learned how to successfully facilitate discussions, listen to students, demonstrate ideas or activities…I am reminded by Rich’s example to seek to learn, to know myself, to focus on the WORK, always THE WORK…and no matter what my profession, to first be a human being. I have never met a person whose ways and attitude I aspire to more than I do Rich Rand’s…Rich makes students try harder, allows them to feel safe to make mistakes, to take risks, to open their minds, and to observe and explore without judgment… You were always there to remind me that I can accomplish whatever it is I dream if I focus and prepare, and you gave me some vital tools to help toward my goal. Most importantly is the fact that you have been an example, an inspiration, a reminder to so many that discipline and hard work do pay off."
~ Ryan Shively, MFA in Acting, 1996. Mr. Shively has acted in numerous productions on Broadway and in regional theatre.
Now that the dust of finals has settled and with our graduation ceremony tomorrow, I have had time to reflect and I am reminded of the people that have helped me get to this moment. I want to give you the biggest thank you for your role in my journey at Purdue. From my first class with you, to Brighton Beach, and to Characterization, and everything in between, the skills and knowledge I have gained from you is irreplaceable. You have ignited a creative fire in me that was dormant for some time and I cannot accurately describe what that means to me. You go above and beyond what is required for your job and trust me when I say your students feel that and appreciate it. You have always had an answer for a quick question, guidance for a dilemma, and hours of your time to give direction. I value all the advice you have given me and especially your honesty and sincerity. You have been much more than a teacher to me, you have been my mentor. You have the great ability to understand where I come from and the insight to give me what I needed to move on. There was a time in my life when I thought this would never happen. That the idea of acting was just that, an idea or a dream that wasn't realistic for my life. I thank you for helping me accept my passion as reality."
~ Abby Vieck, BA in Acting, 2015
"Rich Rand is about something much larger than himself, and he nurtures human beings as well as artists. He is simply the finest teacher I have ever had in any subject, and the finest director I have ever worked with on any level. And yet, his teaching and his direction is incredibly demanding. He inspires actors to explore places in themselves that may have seemed impossible or unsafe in the past . . . He is one of those rare people who inspires you to live your life and do your craft with more discipline, humanity and love."
~ Dr. Andrew Carlson, MFA in Acting, 2007, Faculty UT-Austin
"Professor Rand is the finest teacher I have studied under. He equipped me with the tools I need to succeed as a professional actor. He challenged me to read, write, perform, and think more deeply, clearly, and compassionately. If you ever have the opportunity to work with, study under, or perform alongside Rich, take it."
~ Patrick Midgley, MFA in Acting, 2010
I look forward to next semester & working with you again in the future. This has been an amazing journey & I am blessed for the opportunity to pursue my dreams. Thank you so much for all of your help & insight & giving me a chance to take these classes. Because of your inspiration, I am pursuing this further. Thank you for doing what you do best & being such a positive influence!
~ Julie Wilkinson, BA in Acting, 2017
“I had the pleasure of working as a composer/sound designer on two productions. In both instances, Rich directed the process with a wonderful balance of vision and openness. A Story About a Girl, in particular, stands out as one of my favorite creative experiences, and that's absolutely due to the wonderful collaborative relationship that Rich and I shared. It was a workshop production for a new play which presented the challenge of a constantly evolving script. Rich set the tone for everyone involved with his even-tempered confidence and persistence. He valued input from everyone and gently pushed us all to create a really wonderful theatre experience for the audience. Rich is a thoughtful director who cares deeply about every detail of a production. He is passionate about the projects that he takes on, and has a wonderful ability to spread that passion to his creative team. I highly recommend him.”
~ Jason Knox, (MFA in Sound Design, 2009) Media Producer/Audio Manager at Jellyvision
“I am so lucky and honored that you contacted me to audition for this amazing show. There is never a hesitation for me when it comes to the possibility of working with you. You continue to be a source of inspiration to me as an artist.”
~ Katie Bartholomew, BA in Acting, 2001, Professional Actor
"No person I met at Purdue has had a more positive, profound and lasting impact on my career as a student and as a professional than Rich Rand. In the classroom, Rich is an inspiring instructor, encouraging and uncompromising. He is unfailingly attentive, a unique and generous listener: present, empathetic and insightful in discussion. He is the finest teacher I have ever known."
~ Gerritt VanderMeer, Professor of Theatre and Theatre Program Leader, Florida Gulf Coast University
“Thank you for leading me to truths and discoveries that I never could have found on my own. Thank you for challenging me and really making me work. Thank you for teaching me what it means to dig deep into the world of a play. Thank you for the guidance. Thank you for being my mentor.”
~ Chynna Fry, BA in Acting, 2015
"For your patient wisdom, your gentle caring, and your boundless commitment to the art and the teaching of it, I thank you."
~ Dr. Adam Wiggs, Professor of Psychology, Benedictine College
“I had the honor of working with Professor Rand for 3 ½ years. He always encouraged me to be better than I even believed possible. He is a brilliant educator and truly understands on a deeper level the material he is teaching. He emphasized, not just the moment for a character, but what each interaction will mean for the rest of the character's life. Not only is he an amazing teacher, but also an amazing person. He is kind and understanding, he actually listens to students because their opinions and journeys really matter to him. That is very important to me as a student and speaks to the value this Professor has to Purdue University and to the World. I have truly loved working with him and receiving his council. No matter where he goes he will always be a valuable asset to the people and organization.”
~ Noelle Turner-Ball, BA in Acting, 2013
“It has been an honor to work with you. Your expertise, patience, and sense of humor have made this a joyful experience. I’m so grateful to have explored the complexities of Don Juan with you. Our work has helped unlock different parts of myself and my acting. I will undoubtedly carry the lessons from this project with me as I make my journey in the world of theatre. Thank you for your guidance.”
~ Riley O’Toole, University of Minnesota-Guthrie Theatre Program, 2015
"I don't know how to begin thanking you for all you have taught me, and for your guidance and support. I was so fortunate to have you for so many classes and I have learned so much about theatre, myself and life."
~ Jes Mercer, BA in Acting, 2007
"Though it's been 17 years since we've spoken I wanted you to know that you are the best teacher that I ever had."
~ Lavonne Byers, MFA in Acting, 1990
"You have been an amazing inspiration for both of us."
~ Carla and Jim Harris, MFA’s in Acting, 2004
"When I am onstage with you I understand what it means to craft a role."
~ Brian Edgecomb, MFA in Acting, 2004
"The skill with which you hone, mold, craft, and breathe life into a play is ASTOUNDING! Your understanding of the human condition is humbling and inspiring. I could go on, but I must stop…"
~ Dan Meisner, BA in Acting, 2008
“Professor Rand is an exceptional teacher and his classes are always thought provoking and exciting. Other teachers have a tendency to design lectures and labs for the average student. Professor Rand teaches at a variety of levels within one classroom. He makes a point not to leave anyone behind and finds new challenges for those that may be more advanced. He has and continues to advise me on life, the theatre, and my future pursuits. I do not know what I would have done without him. Since my graduation, he continues to be a mentor and is always ready with words of wisdom on life and the pursuit of an acting career. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful teacher, advisor, and friend."
~ Anna M. Hughes, BA in Acting, 2004
"I cannot express how much I loved and value the character classes…and I'd like to take this opportunity to give you a big THANK YOU for putting me in touch with Bryan Fonseca and the Phoenix Theatre. I had such a great experience working there."
~ Dawn Glover, MFA in Acting, 2010
"I hold your wisdom, your lessons, your support and your mentorship close to my heart. I feel ready to face the world with the tools you've provided for me."
~ Mariana Fernandez, MFA in Acting, 2010
"Thank you so much for all of your help and guidance. Your constant push and excitement was what drove me to want to do my very best. You have given me more than I could ever ask in a teacher and mentor."
~ Kagiso Painter, BA in Acting, 2009
"I came to your office pleading to be allowed into your class…and it changed my life. You gave me the chance to really express my passion and that's one of the biggest things that anyone can ever give…Thank you so much you have made such a big impact on my life."
~ Rico Montanez, BS in Management, 2007
"It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with you."
~ Jake Mahler, MFA in Acting, 2010
"While most professors’ disciplines cover one or two subjects, Rich’s versatility and knowledge is unparalleled…Quite simply, Rich Rand is the best teacher I have ever had. In a city competing with thousands of artists, I feel confident and prepared for a career as an actor as a direct result of what I learned from Rich."
Charlie Sandlan, Senior Acting Teacher/Executive Director, Maggie Flanigan Studio, NYC
"You taught me to look deeper and harder at the characters we all possess within…You’re a tough teacher and I respect you for that! I won’t forget the skills that you taught me and I won’t forget that it was you who sparked…ignited my interest in stage movement! I only hope that one day I can be a teacher like you. Thank you, Rich Rand!!"
DeAnna Gonzales, MFA in Acting, 1997
"Thank you so much for your endless help and support these past four years. I truly appreciate your selfless devotion to your students and to fostering art at Purdue, and I feel privileged to have had these opportunities to work with you."
Annelise Dickinson, BA in Acting, 2006
"You are a true artist. Please know that your passion has affected me immeasurably. I can only hope that my influence on students could be half as powerful as yours."
Kristen Tripp Kelley, Head of Fine Arts Dept, Nichols School, Buffalo, NY
"I speak for the whole design team in thanking you for respecting us and appreciating us."
Professor Kristina Tollefson, University of Central Florida
"As a senior majoring in Education, I feel I have an in-depth knowledge of successful teaching methods…Rich Rand is the one instructor who stands out above the rest. He exhibits exceptional skills of organization and communication. He exemplifies the necessity to learn and to live. He gives his students a sense of pride which makes them feel as though they were born to participate. Students are engaged in activities every session while concurrently and unrecognizably grasping information that seemed far beyond comprehension. I can unequivocally state that he is a source of inspiration for me and many other students. I feel privileged and honored to have studied under one of the best professors at Purdue University."
Yolanda Raquel Jones, BS in Education, 1998
"I know Rich to be one of the most patient, caring, focused and demanding acting teachers I’ve studied with. He had the unique ability of nurturing a student while challenging the artist. Somehow Rich allowed me and my classmates to explore human behavior, how people think, what pushes them into action…I am passionately grateful for the things I learned from Rich."
Davey White, BA in Theatre, 2000 (MFA in Acting and Playwrighting, Temple University 2003, Current Theatre Teacher)
"I always learn so much from working with you and I am always stretched in ways that I never imagined were possible. The lessons that I have learned from you I will take with me throughout my life."
Stacie Hadgikosti, MFA in Acting, 2007
"There is nothing I can write in a few short paragraphs that would fully describe Rich Rand and his effect on his students… He was the reason I came to Purdue and his dedication and commitment became my model for living… [Rich] always arrived prepared and organized and pushed us to excel on a daily basis. He compelled us to look deeper into ourselves as artists. He taught me what it is to be a theatre professional."
Jason Cornwell, MFA in Acting, 2001
"You truly are an inspiration as a teacher and a person. Thank you for remaining true to your students!!"
Ed Duran, MFA in Acting, 2001
"Professor Rand encourages students to strive to their fullest potential, and most importantly he challenges students, and students are asked to set challenges for themselves and meet those challenges. He has inspired me to take risks and take responsibility. He’s made a difference in my life."
Courtney Adler, BA in Theatre, 1996 (MFA, University of Kansas, 1999)
"I take the initiative for the whole class when I say that this is not ‘one of the best courses I’ve ever taken,’ but undoubtedly sets the overall standard for all classes."
Jason Todd, BA in Theatre, 2004
"I just want you to know that you have touched my life in many ways – you are a constant source of inspiration and mean more to me than I know how to say. Thank you for always pushing me to do my best, for believing in me, and for helping me believe in myself."
Jill Robinson, BFA in Acting, UCLA, 2003
"His level of commitment to his students is unparalleled, and while remaining distant from his own achievements, maintains an excellent rapport with his students. We trust Rich, in that our own creative energies are encouraged to manifest themselves without fear of judgment or empty praise. However, Rich is critical of our work and seems to maintain a high degree of objectivity in his comments."
Rob West, MA in English, 1995
"It is my genuine privilege to share my experiences under the instruction and direction of Richard Rand. It is difficult for me to find a place to begin for a man who has given so much to so many people. I must first touch upon his teaching, since that has proved to be the most inspirational for me. When I first arrived at Purdue, Rich was there for me not only as a teacher but as an advisor. His instruction not only served as a valuable lesson in acting, but in life itself. My classmates and I were always able to take what we learned from each class and apply it to the plays and projects we were doing at the time. It was only afterward that we discovered he gave us all much more than was on the surface. He instilled confidence, self-esteem, and direction into me and many others....To be blunt, Rich is the best. When I found out that he was being nominated for the Liberal Arts Award for Educational Excellence, I not only wanted to write this letter, but I needed to. For a man who has given me and many others so much, this chance to give something back is a welcome one."
Andrew Stout, BA in Theatre/Communications, Stewart Prize Winner, 1995 (MFA in Acting, NIU)
"He showed me ways to reach my inner self, thoughts, and desires. He showed me how to use them to my advantage to become a better actor. When I thought I was doing my best, he helped me see that I could do better.... He is my inspiration and his teachings I will use throughout my life both in and out of acting."
Tracy Hyde, BA in Theatre/Communications, 1993
"You helped me become who I am today. A high school theatre teacher and an Educational Director of a large regional theatre company...I have always used you as a benchmark for the kind of teacher I wanted to be. And I am and will always be grateful for the gifts you gave us. The lessons have been long-lasting."
Jeff Draper, Performer with Extraordinary Students of America (Theatre Teacher)
"I think of you and the advice you gave me (way back when) often in my daily life…THANK YOU for everything!!”
Kristen Nichols, Class of 1995
"You have really been a creative inspiration and great guide for me…I will always cherish your teachings.”
Peter Kremidas, Class of 2005