Susanna Rinehart is an associate professor of performance.
In addition to teaching, she has also acted in, and directed, numerous productions at Virginia Tech.
Teaching more than 500 students every semester in her Introduction to Theatre class, she has inspired many students to further pursue theatre within our program and professionally.
- Production/Research Areas: Director, Actor, Documentary Theatre
- Teaching Areas: Performance, Theatre History and Literature
- MFA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- BA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Member, Virginia Tech Faculty Senate and University Council
- Virginia Tech Teaching Awards
- Advancing Women Award 2005
- Two-time recipient of the Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series Grant
- Awarded a School of Performing Arts and Cinema Faculty Research Grant
- Appointed to the Academy of Faculty Services, Virginia Tech (2015)
What is your favorite place on campus? Why?
Hands down, the Studio Theatre is my favorite place on campus. Why? My colleague, Professor Randy Ward – who designed it. He took me on a personal tour when I came for my interview – he took me to every corner of the theatre, including up onto the catwalk and the grid, and I remember thinking, 'I want to make theatre here.'
What gives you the most satisfaction as a teacher?
Figuring out what my students need , helping them find it, and then watching them FLY. Most beautiful thing in the world.
What was the first performing arts event (or film) that you remember participating in and what do you remember most about it?
I began doing theatre in school at the age of 4. My first role was as a bear in a play called "Come to the Zoo." What I remember is being insanely hot – I wore my mom’s gigantic fake fur coat.
My second role, at the age of five, was Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz." My very best friend in the world (her name was, fabulously, Closey) played Toto, and broke her leg while we were still in rehearsal. She played Toto on all fours, dragging a full leg cast, which we decorated to look like Toto’s tail.
Not a single year of my life has gone by in which I have not made theatre.
Two things: I am a really loud sports fan; and Billy Finn ("March of the Falsettos," "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee") used to hang out at my house pounding out tunes on our piano, babysitting me and my sibs. I worshiped him and he maybe saved us… even though he didn’t know how to cook chicken.