Kirsten Brandt's Portrait

Kirsten Brandt

Executive Director, Nevada Conservatory Theatre Chair, Department of Theatre



Prior to joining UNLV Kirsten Brandt was 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 bachelor of arts 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.