Actor, playwright, director, academic. Richard Fotheringham grew up in country Queensland and received his university education at The University of Queensland. He has been active in Australian theatre throughout his adult life, founding the Popular Theatre Troupe in 1974 where he was resident writer and director for four years. He also wrote and acted for the Queensland Theatre Company during the 1970s. His roles for the RQTC included The Legend of King O'Malley (1971). He has written plays, television and film scripts, some of which are held at Fryer Library, University of Qld. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature's Walter Macrae Russell Award for an outstanding work of literary scholarship for his monograph In Search of Steele Rudd (1995).
Fotheringham has served as Head of the School of English, Art History and Media Studies at The University of Queensland and was Executive Dean of Arts until 2011 when he retired. His professional associations have included being a board member of the Queensland Theatre Company, treasurer of the Australasian Drama Studies Association (1989-1999) and consultant to the Community Cultural Development Board of the Australia Council for the Arts. He has also been joint editor with Veronica Kelly of the Australasian Drama Studies journal since 1982 and was a member and chair of the AustLit board of management. In 2011 Fotheringham also became Chair of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.