In Memoriam – Raymond Picozzi, RIC emeritus professor

Raymond Lewis Picozzi of Newport, RIC professor emeritus of theatre, died on Jan. 10 at Newport Hospital. He was 83.

Raymond Picozzi
Born in Providence, Picozzi was a professor at RIC for 36 years, from 1961-97.

From 1961-70 he taught in the Department of Elementary Education, and was appointed chair of the department in 1963. From 1971-77, he held a joint appointment in the Elementary Education and Communications and Theatre departments. For 14 years he served as department chair – first of the Communications and Theatre Department and later of the then-newly joined Theater and Dance Department.

In 1981, beginning with the RIC Mainstage production of “Cinderella,” he became the director of the college's musical theater performance program.

In 1969, he was appointed to the Board of Governors of the National Children’s Theatre Conference of the American Educational Theatre Association, with responsibility as governor of the New England region.

In 1974 he was selected as national program chairman of the National Children’s Theatre Association. The RIC news release announcing his selection noted that Picozzi “is known throughout New England for his innovative work in the area of creative dramatics and and his program at RIC has often been the subject of feature stories and media coverage.”

During the 1970s he served as director of the College Children’s Theater Program and directed its productions.

Through the years, he was also active as director of other college and senior center productions and projects including RIC’s Cabaret ’86.

Picozzi was appointed to the first advisory board of The Echo, a local newspaper serving the Italian community.

He was a literature and drama consultant for Harcourt Brace publishers and its Language for Daily Use series for students K-9 for which he wrote the drama and poetry lessons.

After retiring from the college, he became an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University, where he directed several theatrical productions.

Picozzi received an AB from Providence College and an MEd and DEd from Boston University. The subject of his dissertation was “Effect of Creative Drama on the Language Growth and Development of Children.”

Prior to RIC, he taught in Providence public schools from 1949-58, at an Air Force base in England in 1956 and 1957, and at Boston University from 1958-61.

He is survived by his wife, Alberta, three sons and their spouses, a brother and three grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church on Spring St. in Newport. Visiting hours will be on Thursday, Jan. 13, from 4-8 p.m. in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home on 465 Spring St. in Newport.

Donations in Raymond Picozzi’s memory can be made to the St. Mary’s Church Endowment Fund, to the Friends of Newport Public Library or to Volunteers in Newport Education.