A Wisconsin native born and raised in Manitowoc, Ken Risch comes to Utah State University
from La Crosse, Wisconsin, where he spent the last five years as Dean of the School
of Fine Arts at Viterbo University. Ken received his undergraduate degree in secondary
speech education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1972 and spent the next
five years teaching high school speech, drama, and English in southern Wisconsin.
After receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree in acting from the University of Minnesota
and spending two seasons as an actor with the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Ken
began his university teaching career at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
That was followed by four years at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and twelve
years at Tulane University in New Orleans where he received regional awards for acting,
directing, and set design. Prior to his position at Viterbo, Ken served as the chair
of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
A member of the stage actor’s union for twenty years, Ken spent six summers as an Equity Guest Artist, and eventually Associate Artistic Director, with the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival where his one-man show, Floodgate, based on the life of actor Edwin Booth, premiered. Floodgate twice toured Texas and Oklahoma in the early eighties. Ken has worked on the educational, community, and professional levels for nearly forty years.