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Andrew Belser appointed Director of the School of Theatre, Film & Television

The College of Fine Arts is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Belser as the next Director of the School of Theatre, Film & Television.  Belser brings more than thirty years of artistic, educational, and administrative experience to this new role, which he will begin on August 5, 2019.

Andy Belser holds a Master’s degree in Theatre from Villanova University and an MFA in Directing from Virginia Tech.  As Head of Theatre at Juniata College for 14 years, Belser founded and served as artistic director for The Gravity Project, a professional theatre training model and curriculum, and he oversaw a period of dramatic growth in the number of Theatre majors on campus.  Belser went on to serve as Chair of Theatre at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he led long-range planning, enrollment growth initiatives, marketing strategies, and significant curriculum revision.

For the past six years, Belser has been Professor of Movement, Voice, and Acting in the School of Theatre at the Pennsylvania State University, as well as founding Director of Arts & Design Research Incubator (ADRI) in the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture.  His work in the ADRI fostered interdisciplinary arts research collaborations across campus that garnered national attention, positioning Penn State as a leader in integrating the arts in the research university context.

Belser’s own research and creative inquiry merges current trends in neuroscience with performance training and practice.  He is a leading practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, which employs body awareness and mindfulness to increase performers’ skill and capacity to perform under stress.

“I am energized and excited by the opportunity to lead the School of Theatre, Film & Television at the University of Arizona,” Belser notes.  “The amazing strengths, optimism, and national reputation of the faculty—combined with a strong base of supporters and the exciting new vision for the arts at UA—positions TFTV to significantly advance its core mission as an innovative training ground for future leaders in theatre, film, and related creative industries.”

Many thanks to the members of the search committee, chaired by Associate Dean Martina Shenal, for their efforts in successfully identifying and recruiting an outstanding pool of candidates, and thanks to all who participated in the campus visits of the finalists.

Our heartfelt thanks also to Deanna Fitzgerald and Yuri Makino, who have served with distinction as Interim Co-Directors of TFTV during the 2018-19 academic year.  During their collaborative tenure, Deanna and Yuri did an outstanding job of facing and solving a host of short- and long-term issues.  We look forward to honoring them for their service.

Andy Belser plans to be in Tucson and on campus for several days in mid-May in order to meet with faculty in the school and with UA Arts leadership.

Sincerely,

Andrew (Andy) Schulz
Vice President for the Arts
Dean | College of Fine Arts
University of Arizona

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