University of the Arts Names Joanna Settle New Head of Brind School of Theater Arts

December 19, 2013

The University of the Arts has appointed Joanna Settle as the new director of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts. Settle, a freelance theater director and educator, will begin her tenure on January 13, 2014.

"We are excited to welcome Joanna to UArts," said Provost Kirk E. Pillow. "She brings a rich history in and an extensive knowledge of all aspects of theater. Her leadership and her broad experience as a nationally recognized director will help the Brind School achieve even greater levels of success."

A graduate of the Juilliard School's directing program, Settle has directed and taught at undergraduate and graduate theater programs at the Juilliard School, Bard College, Cornell University and Brown/Trinity MFA.

"I'm deeply honored to be invited into the University of the Arts community, and I'm eager to lend myself to the continued success of our students and the growth of our programs," said Settle. "I can't wait to get to Philly!"

In 2014, Settle will direct two world premiere musicals by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, "Family Album" at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and "The Total Bent" at the Public Theater. Recent productions directed by Settle include "Harry Clarke" by David Cale at the Warhol Museum and "Romeo and Juliet" for Shakespeare on the Sound in Connecticut. Also at the Public, she directed Winter Miller's "In Darfur," the finale of Suzan-Lori Parks's "365 Days/365 Plays" and Stephen Brown's "Future Me (SPF)." Other directorial projects included the premiere of Heather Raffo's award-winning "Nine Parts of Desire" at Manhattan Ensemble Theater, which she also restaged for the Geffen Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, MassMOCA, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage.

Settle served as the artistic director of Shakespeare on the Sound from 2009 to 2012. From 1998 to 2004, she was the artistic director of Chicago's Division 13 Productions, where she directed and/or adapted and designed 15 of D13's 17 projects, including "BLOOD LINE: The Oedipus/Antigone Story," two plays by Sophocles, "Macbett" by Ionesco and several Samuel Beckett shorts, including "Cascando," "Rockaby" and "Play."

"Joanna comes to the College of Performing Arts with extensive connections and experience in professional theater, and a passion for training creative thinkers and theater makers for the 21st Century," said K Williams, dean of the College. "With her guiding, the continuing implementation of the University's innovative new academic plan, the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts will grow even stronger. I am thrilled that she is joining us at UArts."

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