Nils and Susan Riess Stage
The stage of the 550 seat Biggs Theater in Freed Center was dedicated as the Nils and Susan Riess Stage April 11, at 7:30 p.m. prior to the ONU production of “Footloose.”
As ONU president Daniel DiBiasio observed, “Prof, Nils Riess has been the central figure in growing, developing, managing, and leading the Freed Center and the academic programs it houses.”
A native of New York City, Riess became chair of the ONU Department of Communication and Theatre in 1982 and spearheaded the growth and reputation of ONU as one of the top theatre programs. Riess expanded the theatre program to include a minor in dance, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre, a guest artist program and an international studies program. He also was instrumental in setting up the Bachelor of Fine Arts in international theatre production.
Riess was prominent in planning the design and construction of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts. In 2005, Riess was recognized for his contributions to the theatre world and his academic accomplishments with the Ohio Governor’s Award for Arts in Education