The UNLV College of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Kirsten Brandt as chair of the department of theatre and executive director of Nevada Conservatory Theatre. Brandt is currently associate chair and artistic director of the department of film and theatre at San Jose State University.
Brandt is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose practice embraces inquiries into gender, technology, and politics. An award-winning theatrical director, playwright, and producer with over 20 years of experience, her passion lies in igniting the imagination of audiences through visceral storytelling and visual poetry to encourage dialogue and ethical engagement. She specializes in musical theater, experimental theater, devised and ensemble created events, Shakespeare, and the intersection of live performance and digital media.
For seven years, she served as executive artistic director of the Sledgehammer Theatre (San Diego’s leading alternative theater) where she produced 25 productions including 11 world premieres, five west coast premieres, and directed 15 productions. Her avant garde, gritty take on Sweet Charity earned her a coveted Backstage West award for her direction. In addition to directing, she wrote The Frankenstein Project, which was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts; Berzerkergäng a play based on Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle; and NU: a play without words for which she received an award for outstanding choreography.
She received her BA in theatre from University of California San Diego, where she took part in the education abroad program in Birmingham, England. Her MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College focuses on gender in performance, performative technologies, and environmental justice. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, The Dramatists Guild of America, and the National Theatre Conference.
"With the appointment of Kirsten Brandt as chair and executive director, the department of theatre and Nevada Conservatory Theatre, we begin an exciting new era in the cultural life of UNLV and for the wider community," said Dean Nancy Uscher. "We are thrilled to welcome Kirsten to UNLV.”
Brandt begins in her position on July 1.
About the UNLV College of Fine Arts
The UNLV College of Fine Arts, one of the nation's largest fine arts colleges, boldly launches visionaries who transform the global community through collaboration, scholarship, and innovation. Established in 1992, the UNLV CFA encompasses the departments of art, dance, film, theatre, the School of Music, School of Architecture, Entertainment Engineering & Design, and is home to the Performing Arts Center, Nevada Conservatory Theatre, and Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art.
We illuminate the power of the arts amidst breathtaking advancements in science and technology. In doing so, we are creating a global destination at the forefront of transforming arts and design. To accomplish this we encourage agency, inventiveness, problem-solving, and big-idea thinking in our students, faculty, and staff. We make education relevant through evolving curriculum and effective learning outcomes.