The Ira Brind School of Theater Arts is committed to developing the individual artistic voice of each student: You will develop both skills and an expanded point of view. Further, you’ll graduate as a fearless, innovative and adaptable creator, ready to engage the medium and the world with a strong sense of yourself as a citizen artist.
The Brind School is tailored for those who want to head to Broadway and those who are intent on challenging the status quo. Our faculty includes 60 instructors, the majority of which are current theater professionals. Additionally, alumni regularly return to UArts as educators and hold central positions in Philadelphia’s theater culture, extending your creative community far beyond campus.
The Brind School is a community of four majors: Acting, Directing, Playwriting & Production (DPP), Musical Theater and Theater Design and Technology (DT). We celebrate acting instruction as the focal point of training in both the Acting and Musical Theater programs, and emphasize vocal and physical training as principal support areas. Our Theater Design & Technology and Directing, Playwriting & Production programs also focus on techniques supported by extended collaborative learning opportunities in production. Opportunities abound for master classes, guest speakers, internships and apprenticeships with both nationally prominent guest artists and Philadelphia’s many professional companies.
Through its dozens of performances each year–including the annual Polyphone Festival of New and Emerging Musicals–the Brind School is both a school and a producing company. We present an annual season of work which includes projects led by students, faculty and renowned guest artists from the national and local theater scenes. Auditions are open to all Brind School students.
The mission statement of UArts is to advance human creativity and we want to advance your creativity. We will meet you where you are and give you the rigorous and creative education you need to find and train YOUR creative voice.
Directing, Playwriting and Production (also known as DPP)
The Directing, Playwriting and Production program is for the student who wants more agency in their storytelling. The Directing, Playwriting and Production curriculum trains the generative theater artist, who wants to write, direct, produce and/or manage theater. The DPP Program builds future theater leaders who have rigor, imagination, and a deep and diverse skill set. The DPP program is designed to challenge assumptions and work across disciplines to transform what theater is and can be. All students take three core classes that focus on how to lead through collaboration (Collaboration in Theater, Director/Design Collaboration, Senior Project II). They all take classes in each core discipline (Directing, Playwriting, Producing, Stage Management), and are required to deepen in at least one of those disciplines. Often, students take all four levels of two of the above disciplines, making them rounded theater artists that are ready for a broad range of work after graduation. Students also engage in learning and challenging form and structure in classes such as Exploration of Style, Dramaturgy, and New Play Workshop. In addition to rigorous artistic development, they also all take a range of producing courses (Theater Management, I Am My Own Company, more) to grow their financial leadership and organizational skills. Artistic innovation and entrepreneurship are at the core of this curriculum.
Theater Design & Technology (also known as DT)
The Theater Design & Technology program values collaboration, storytelling, creativity and technical artistry. The curriculum combines a wide scope of design courses with specific crafts classes taught by professionals in their fields. Students can be trained in any of the primary studios: set design, costume design, lighting design, sound design, projection design and technical direction, and can choose one or more of these areas as a focus. Studio work is complimented with extensive hands-on experience on a variety of productions in the Brind School season. Upper-level studies include realized design or technical work; two significant professional-theater internships; and the development of a professional-grade display and interview portfolio. Students design for all Brind School production levels including for the main stage and frequently work alongside faculty and guest professional artists on productions.