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Carnegie Mellon Appoints Elizabeth Bradley To Second Term as Head of the School of Drama

Carnegie Mellon has appointed Elizabeth Bradley to a second term as head of the School of Drama.
Carnegie Mellon University has appointed Elizabeth Bradley to a second five-year term as head of the School of Drama in its College of Fine Arts.

"Liz's progressive vision has moved the school and the university to a higher level of academic excellence," said Carnegie Mellon Provost and Senior Vice President Mark Kamlet.

A committee that included faculty and staff from the School of Drama unanimously recommended Bradley's reappointment. The committee, appointed by Hilary Robinson, the Stanley and Marcia Gumberg Dean of the College of Fine Arts, and headed by Susanne Slavick, former head of the School of Art, praised Bradley for her impact on the mission, program and reputation of the drama school.

"Liz Bradley has won recognition and respect for many admirable qualities and accomplishments as head of the School of Drama. Liz's vision has led to more varied and bolder theater seasons of high artistic and production values," the committee wrote in its report. "The works featured often offered more challenge and intellectual substance than previous years before her headship. There is an 'edgier' approach to the theater season, diversifying beyond typical theater conventions. This vision is compelling and welcomed."

Bradley has forged relationships across the campus, fostering valued interdisciplinary collaboration. She has brought pluralistic contemporary perspectives to the work of the School of Drama through pioneering initiatives, such as the International Artists Residency program. Students have responded enthusiastically to a number of innovations, including "Playground," an annual festival of independent student work. Bradley also led an intensive three-year effort to renew the drama school's curriculum, an undertaking that has been cited as a model of academic assessment and planning.

"I am pleased that Liz will continue her good work at the School of Drama," Robinson said. "She has positioned the school to build upon its excellent national and international reputation in a way that will benefit the school and the college for years to come."

Bradley is a producer, presenter, festival director, arts advocate and international cultural consultant. She came to Carnegie Mellon in September 2001 after a wide-ranging career of nearly 30 years in the performing arts. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, Bradley was CEO of the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts in her native Toronto. The Hummingbird Centre presents multidisciplinary attractions from around the world, featuring many of the major artists of the last decade. Her theatrical producing credits include Tony-nominated Broadway productions, Edinburgh Festival premieres and extensive U.S. tours to major houses, such as the Kennedy Center and City Center in New York.

Bradley has worked directly for artists as manager and agent, and has held a senior management position for the Stratford Festival of Canada. As past chair of the International Society for the Performing Arts, an organization that links arts leaders from 51 countries, Bradley was instrumental in creating the 2001 Inaugural International Arts Forum in Beijing, where significant policy changes promoting increased openness to artistic exchange and expression were announced. She is programming consultant to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and has served as a jury member for the Heinz Endowments' Creative Heights program.

Bradley was founding artistic director of the first edition of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, held in October 2004. The festival brought nine U.S. premieres of cutting-edge, multidisciplinary performances to Pittsburgh to complement the visual arts showcased in the Carnegie International. In fall 2004, the first International Artists Residency program welcomed Theatre O to an intensive five-week immersive visit to Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama. Bradley was recently chair of an advisory review board for the Theatre School at DePaul University and served on a review team for Northwestern University's School of Communications.

Founded in 1914, the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama is a pre-professional conservatory program educating young artists at the graduate and undergraduate level in the complete range of theatrical specializations.

Eric Sloss
September 8, 2006

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