Born in Richmond, he came to us from Chattanooga High School. At Princeton he majored in English, rowed freshman and varsity heavyweights, and was a member of Orange Key, the St. Paul’s Society, Tiger Magazine, the Intercollegiate Committee, and the Undergraduate Schools Committee. His junior and senior years he roomed with Doug Henley, JJ Keyser, Dick Mandell, and Frank Midgley in the Cap and Gown suite.
After a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in theater and speech from the University of Iowa, Rich taught for 16 years at Washington University in St. Louis, creating the theatre department there along with classmate Sid Friedman. He began writing the first of six books: Tragedy and Tragic Theory, The Lighting Art 1 & 2, The Critics Canon, The Contemporary British History Play, and Theatre: A Visual History. In 1980 he joined the William & Mary faculty and embarked on a career of teaching and service to his discipline, the college, and the community. He was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award in recognition of his passion for teaching and his students.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Becky; children Virginia, Zachary, and Katherine ’89; and eight grandchildren.