RJ Hodde (he/him/his) is a Hoosier by upbringing, now a graduate candidate in directing and Associate Instructor of Theatre at Indiana University. His degree pursuits include research in popular performance practice, genre and media studies, American folklore, and arts policymaking. In 2020, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education awarded RJ the Kennedy Center’s graduate award in Innovative Teaching (Region III) for his pedagogical developments in Camp and Clown as modes of character and actor training.
RJ’s previous post, as a fundraising officer for Oregon Children’s Theatre (Portland), capped off a decade of nonprofit work in both administration and governance, specializing in community engagement and mission-driven projects management. He has collaborated on literary, original, and paratheatrical productions as an adaptor and author, choreographer, director, and dramaturg.
RJ is a graduate of the conservatory at DePaul University (Chicago) and the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre (California). While at Dell’Arte, he undertook over 1,300 hours of intensive studio work in an ensemble of 26 international theatre artists, collaborating on character performance and 30 original devised pieces. Additional training includes The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute (New York), NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago).
Every day, RJ is working toward a more accessible, diverse, inclusive, and multigenerational theatergoing experience for all Americans. His creative constitution is defined by a belief that dynamic storytelling can educate, empower, and entertain in remarkable ways. As a director, he strives for the loudest laughs, the most shocking revelations, and the ugliest of tears. His biggest regret in life is not seeing Whitney Houston sing live. RJ is a Scorpio/Scorpio Rising born in the Year of the Rat. (“RJ” stands for “Ryan Jay.”)