Appointment of Brian Kite as Interim Dean, School of Theater, Film and Television

December 3, 2019

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To:  Deans, Directors, Department Chairs and Administrative Officers, and Faculty and Staff in the School of Theater, Film and Television

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce that Professor Brian Kite, who currently serves as the special academic senior associate dean at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and chair of the Department of Theater, has agreed to serve as interim dean of the school. He will begin his term January 1, 2020, after Dean Teri Schwartz steps down on December 31, 2019.

Before joining the faculty of UCLA in 2015 as a professor and chair of the Department of Theater, Brian was the producing artistic director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and directed many of its critically acclaimed productions, including Billy ElliotMiss SaigonLittle Shop of HorrorsDinner with FriendsDriving Miss Daisy and Proof. Under his innovative leadership, La Mirada Theatre saw tremendous growth in both revenue and prestige.

Brian is the recipient of the Ovation Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his production of Spring Awakening and was also nominated for his productions of Les Misérables and American Idiot. He directed the national tours of Steel MagnoliasJudgment at NurembergIn the Heat of the NightThe Graduate and Pride and Prejudice for L.A. Theatre Works, and staged the first production of Miss Saigon to ever play in China. He also directed Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, which toured throughout China and was the first U.S. presentation of a play to perform at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts. He led a production of Cabaret in Bermuda under the patronage of the Queen’s Governor and last spring staged the South China premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole in Mandarin at the Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre.

During Brian’s tenure as chair, the Department of Theater launched the Hearst Playwright-in-Residence initiative, bringing Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Paula Vogel and Nilo Cruz to campus; reorganized much of its approach to undergraduate curriculum; and increased summer program participation by more than 200 percent. Brian teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and he recently directed the world premiere of the musical Rebel Genius. The UCLA production was designed by graduate design students and performed by undergraduates from the Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program.

Brian is a chair emeritus of the Board of Governors of the LA Stage Alliance and holds an appointment as a visiting professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He received a B.A. in theater and an M.F.A. in theater with a directing specialization from UCLA.

Chancellor Block and I appreciate Brian’s willingness to serve as interim dean, and we have every confidence in his ability to provide strong leadership and continuity for the school. I anticipate forming a search committee in spring 2020 to identify candidates for a permanent dean, and I will keep you informed as we begin that search process.


Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost