TDA Chair Brian Swanson accepts Service to Theatre Education Award

Southern Utah University’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Arts Chair Brian Swanson accepted the Service to Theatre Education Award from the Utah Theatre Association

Swanson recently helped SUU host the UTA 2022 Conference from Jan. 20-22. The annual conference allows high school students and teachers to learn more about theatre and to expand their social network through workshops and stage performances. It is also an opportunity for high school students to audition for programs and scholarships.

“He is an outstanding example of how healthy and well-communicated bridges should and can be built between high school teachers and those in higher education,” said UTA President Andrew Lloyd Hunsaker. “He is always positive, kind and thoughtful so we are lucky to have him on our team.”

Swanson earned a Bachelor of Arts from Iowa State University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Technical Design and Production from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. He has worked as a production manager and technical director for various theater and opera companies including the Utah Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Iowa State University Theatre and the Aspen Music Festival and School. 

He is an active member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology. According to their website, USITT is an organization that “promotes dialogue, research and learning among practitioners of theatre design and technology.” 

Swanson has worked on over 200 productions in his career and collected other recognitions including the Edward C. Cole Memorial Award from the Yale School of Drama and the 2014-15 Outstanding Educator award from SUU. 

“Service comes as second nature to [Swanson] and he is a highly efficient worker behind the scenes who ensures quality outcomes,” said College of Performing and Visual Arts Dean Shauna Mendini. “On behalf of the entire college, we are thrilled he has been recognized throughout the state and region for his important contributions to theater education.” 

More information on the TDA faculty and upcoming events can be found on the department website

Story by: Addie Horsley
Photo courtesy of SUU Theatre Arts Department