Tucked away in a corner office in the bowels of the A.A. Fredericks Fine Arts Center, Robert and Karn Richoux aren’t in the spotlight.
And they wouldn’t have it any other way.
The married couple, who are each starting their first semester in the Northwestern State University theatre department this fall, specialize in technical theatre, which includes building sets, props, scene painting, stage management as well as costumes, lighting and sound.
Robert, a 2007 NSU graduate who aims to bring his experience working with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and at the ZACH Theatre in Austin, Texas, said coming back to Natchitoches has been eye-opening.
Karn, an assistant professor of theatre technology who doubles as the technical director for the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, taught high school theatre for the past three years.
The pair met at Florida State while pursuing master’s degrees and married on Leap Day in 2011.
Although the Richouxs aren’t together every waking hour because of differing class schedules and project builds, Robert said he doesn’t get tired of being around his wife of five years.
“She’s my best friend, and we get along really well,” Robert said. “We have enough respect for one another, and we know that each other knows what they’re doing and respects each other’s choices.
“We know our strengths and weaknesses. We get along so well that we don’t mind being around each other most of the time.”
A diplomatic answer with his wife sitting beside him, but Karn shared the real reason behind their success.
“We make fun of each other all the time. Laughing is the key,” Karn said.
The Richouxs are still shaping their roles as they assist technical director Phillip Kidd and lighting designer/facilities director Paul Pharris among others.
Robert, who specializes in set building, said he hopes to incorporate more projection designs and automated scenery.
He aspired to be an athletic trainer before falling into theatre by chance.
Karn, a Minnesota native, recalls being involved in her sister’s plays as a child.
The Richouxs stress that theatre isn’t just for students who want to pursue a professional theatre career.
The department is working on its first production of the season, “Young Frankenstein,” running Oct. 12-16 in the A. A. Fredericks Auditorium.
To see a full calendar of the season’s productions, visit https://theatre.nsula.edu/calendar/.