Michèle Raper Rittenhouse (playwright) received her M.F.A. in playwriting from Mason Gross School of Arts with a production of Heartland presented at the Levin Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ and was again produced in New York´s Access Theatre. She is the recipient of the Witter Bynner Fellowship Award at the Abingdon Theatre Company and was commissioned to write a play for and Equity workshop production for September 2005, In The Arms of Baby Jesus. She recently completed a musical workshop production based on "The Ghosts of Rowan Oak" by Dean Faulkner Wells, recounted stories told by her uncle, William Faulkner. This is a work in progress with the composer, Robert Felstein. The production ran in March 2006 produced by the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program and the Jim Wise Fellowship for Musical Theatre Development.
She is presently the Managing Director for the Rutgers University--New Jersey Institute of Technology Theatre Arts Program, located in Newark, NJ. There she trains Theatre Arts, Engineering and Architecture students in theatre management, acting, and, of course, playwriting. She is presently working on a playwriting book, Phase One: Playwriting, based on her teaching and forum experiences. She is also completing a book of poetry and biographies based on Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, New York during the Reagan Years.
Her other works include: Angel On My Shoulder, developed at the 1997 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O´Neill Theater Center, Artistic Director, Lloyd Richards. The production script is published in the private library at the Monte Cristo Cottage in Waterford, CT, the home of Eugene O´Neill. The play has been produced at The Coast Playhouse in Los Angeles. Weep No More Today, presently being developed at the Abingdon Theatre Company where she was a finalist for the Christopher Brian Wolk Playwriting Award and then went on to receive the Witter Bynner Playwright in Residence Fellowship for 2004-2005 season. The Scenario, a suspense drama, which was first presented as a one-act play as a finalist in the Young Playwrights Festival at the Nat Horne Theatre in New York. This now full-length drama was produced at the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program. Stories From Home, a compilation of international folk tales, written in collaboration with Dan Drew, Jennifer Donaldson, and Bill Gile (Tony Nominated director) and produced at Lincoln Center Library´s Bruno Walter Auditorium, then moved to the Joseph Papp Public Theatre for a Free At Three Series. The Lost Armadillo Cafe, a honky-tonk Texas comedy, co-written with Mark Leonard and produced in Austin, Boulder, and two venues in New Jersey.The Oak Table, a comedy about NYC´s underground artistic community in the East Village during the late ´70´s, was presented for the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Arts Program in Newark, NJ and has been developed in a Playwrights Forum at the Playwrights Horizon School in New York where she coordinated a professional playwrights forum for three years.
MFA in Theatre Arts and Playwriting, Rutgers University
BA in Theatre Arts and Acting, University of Mississippi
Note that all these productions used non-traditional or non-gender casting.NJIT & Rutgers Newark campuses are in the topmost diverse campuses in the United States.
(Either Produced, Directed or Wrote the following plays/musicals.)
TIME WITHOUT NUMBER Directed by Timothy Raphael. The Bradley Hall Theatre, Rutgers-Newark Campus, Spring 2007. Photographer: Kai (Guy) Chan; Nick Romanenko. Poster Graphics by: Kwan Yau Lui (Joan)
FIORELLO! Directed by Bill Gile. The Jim Wise Theatre, NJIT Campus, Spring 2007. Photographer: Kai (Guy) Chan. Poster Graphics by: Dave Rittenger
THE DIRECTORS PROJECT 2006 (Student directed short plays) Coordinated by Timothy Raphael. The Bradley Hall Theatre, Rutgers-Newark Campus, Fall 2006. Photographer: Kai (Guy) Chan; Veronica Quintero; Priya Shah Poster Graphics by: Dave Rittenger
MACBETT by By Eugene Ionesco Directed by Dan Drew. The Jim Wise Theatre, NJIT Campus, Fall 2006. Photographer: Kai (Guy) Chan; Mathew Horten; Dave Rittinger; Dan Sernotti. Poster Graphics by: Dave Rittenger
ROAD by By Jim Cartwright Directed by Timothy Raphael. The Bradley Hall Theatre, Rutgers-Newark Campus, Spring 2006. Photographer: Kai (Guy) Chan. Poster Graphics by: Shivram Ray
THE GHOSTS OF ROWAN OAK by Michele Raper Rittenhouse. Directed by Bill Gile. Music and additional lyrics by Robert Felstien. Adapted from "The Ghosts of Rowan Oak: William Faulkner´s Ghost Stories for Children" by Dean Faulkner Wells. Jim Wise Theater, NJIT Campus, Spring 2006. Photographer: Martha M Kutzko. Poster Graphics by: Pierre Levesque
National Collegiate Honors Council on line publication of Theatre and Technology Syllabus, NJIT. 2007. http://www.nchchonors.org/ (sample Honors syllabi, Courses for Juniors and Seniors, Theatre Honor Courses).
Alexander Street Press (electronic licensing and publications for research at higher institutions) North American Women´s Drama Project