Launched in 1982, the UC Davis Granada Artist-in-Residence
program is unique in American university theater, bringing
prominent theater artists—directors, playwrights, choreographers,
or filmmakers—to Davis each academic quarter to teach and create
a work for public performance. A special opportunity for graduate
and undergraduate students to work closely with major theater and
dance practitioners, it is a unique cross-cultural experience.
Established with funding provided by Britain’s Granada
Television, the program originally hosted British practitioners
exclusively, but in the 1990s, it was expanded to
include distinguished artists from all parts of the globe,
including the U.S., to better reflect the rich cultural mix of
students at UC Davis.
Since its inception, the Granada Artist-in-Residence program has
brought a roster of gifted artists to UC Davis. These artisans
include playwrights Philip Kan Gotanda and Mark Ravenhill,
directors Irina Brown and William Gaskill, as well
as choreographers John Jasperse, Bill T. Jones
and Doug Varone. Former Granada Artists Mindy Cooper and
Peter Licthtenfels are now members of the Department of Theatre
and Dance faculty.
Various distinguished artists have served on the Granada
Artist-in-Residence program advisory committee including actress
Dame Judi Dench, director Sir Peter Hall and film and television
producer Derek Granger.
All Granada artists work closely with the permanent faculty to
integrate their unique talents and areas of interest into the
This unique class for musical theatre focuses on specific
lyric/scene monologue work as well as picking it apart musically.
Important emphasis on why the song exists
in the first place, what the actor/performer
has to physically do and accomplish. The class involves
quite a bit of physicality and various acting exercises
that often come out of the material itself.
Jeffrey Saver has composed the musicals
Dodsworth (starring Hal Linden and Dee Hoty) and
Time After Time with collaborator Stephen Cole and music
for the documentary film In My Hands (directed and
produced by Ann Reinking).
Andrew Nicholls began writing comedy with
Darrell Vickers in Junior High. After high school in Canada
the team wrote for radio, TV and stage, and for comedians
and cartoonists. In 1983 they moved to Los Angeles, where they
wrote for George Carlin, Mickey Rooney, and for NBC’s
Tonight Show from 1986-92, as Johnny Carson’s head writers.
They’ve since created twenty TV series and written over 400
episodes of children’s TV.
Originally the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty conceived
of establishing a relationship with a professional production
company in order to draw upon the expertise of eminent
professionals who would come to the department for a limited time
to create and teach.Faculty member Dan Snyder, who had worked as
a designer for Granada Television Ltd (best known in the U.S. for
its productions of Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel
in the Crown, and Lost Empires), suggested that the
department approach Granada, which had a wealth of contacts in
Judy Blazer has appeared on Broadway in leading
roles in Me and My Girl,A Change in the
Heir, Titanic the Musical, LoveMusik,
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. At New York
City Opera, she appeared
in Candide and Sweeney Todd.
Off-Broadway: Hello Again, (Drama Desk nomination), The
House of Bernarda Alba (both at Lincoln
Center),Hurrah at Last (Roundabout Theater).
Janni Younge is a
director and producer of multimedia, theatrical and visual
performance works, with an emphasis on puppetry arts. Janni’s
work has been performed widely internationally in North and South
America, Africa, Europe, India and the East. Recognition awards
include the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, several
Fleur du Cap awards for puppet design and the Nagroda award for
Kent Nicholson received his MFA from the Department of Theatre
and Dance in 1995. He returned to UC Davis in 2006 to
direct Death of a Salesman, which won
a Writers’ Choice Award for best theatrical production on a
university campus from the Sacramento News &
Review. New York directing credits include: 9
Circles (The Sheen Center), Long Story Short
(Prospect Theater), Five Flights (Rattlestick
Playwrights Theater), Wet (Summer Play Festival), and
Marry Harry (NYMF, American Theater Group).
Mindy Cooper has directed, choreographed and performed on
Broadway and Off-Broadway in Chicago - The
Musical (original revival), Titanic (original
cast), Dracula – The Musical, 50 Shades – The Musical Parody,
Mars/Venus Live, The Eternal Space, Soul Doctor, Wrong Mountain,
Five Course Love, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Song &
Dance, and Tenderloin, as well as TV’s Law &
Order: Criminal Intent.
Kirsten Brandt is an award-winning playwright,
director and producer. She served for six seasons as Artistic
Director of Sledgehammer Theatre where she directed over a dozen
plays and wrote Berzerkergang, The Frankenstein
Project, and NU. She was the Associate Artistic
Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, where she directed
Dr. Faustus, Next Fall, The Big Meal, Legacy
of Light and Groundswell, among others. As a