Brian Byrnes

brian-byrnesPrevious Seasons: Fight Director, Richard III, As You Like It

Brian is the Associate Professor of Theatre Movement – University of San Diego
Fight Master, Fight Director, Certified Teacher – Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD)

In September 2012, Brian began his new appointment as Head of Theatre Movement with the Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Theatre Program. He will serve as a tenured Associate Professor with Old Globe/USD program

Brian was most recently a tenured Associate Professor with the University of Houston School of Theatre & Dance where he taught with the graduate and undergraduate programs, and directed numerous main stage productions for the program. In 2006, Professor Byrnes was the recipient of the University of Houston “Teaching Excellence Award in the Performing/Visual Arts” in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

He holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts (with honors) from the University of Iowa. He holds a M.F.A. in Acting (with an additional emphasis in Directing) from the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1992 and 1995, Brian was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa, Department of Theatre Arts. In 2003, he created a “Physical Performance Scholarship” for the University of Iowa, Department of Theatre Arts. The scholarship has been awarded to students based on good academic standing, who demonstrate talent in the art of physical performance, and who are supportive contributors within an ensemble.

He has served as a faculty member with Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has served as a faculty member and guest artist with numerous colleges, institutes and training programs across the country. He regularly teaches Movement, Stage Combat, and Acting at regional, national, and international workshops, conferences, and seminars.

Brian has taught numerous times as a Master Teacher/Fight Master for the SAFD National Stage Combat Workshops, and will serve as the Coordinator/Lead Teacher for the 2012 Advanced Actor Combatant SAFD National Stage Combat Workshop held at North Carolina School of the Arts.

As an actor, and proud member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) he has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Off-Broadway, regional theatres, Shakespeare festivals, television and commercials. Acting work in Houston includes Stages Repertory Theatre (Jack & Jill, The Pavilion, Recent Tragic Events) and the Alley Theatre (Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, Cyrano De Bergerac, Little Shop of Horrors). Brian also works as a professional director for both theatre and opera, and has written several plays that have been professionally produced.

Brian has held the office of Vice President of the Society of American Fight Directors and his SAFD credentials include Fight Director, Certified Teacher of Stage Combat Arts, and he has also been honored with the title of SAFD Fight Master in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the art form and service to the SAFD. He serves as an official adjudicator for the SAFD Skills Proficiency Tests, which are conducted at institutes, colleges, and universities nationally and internationally. Brian has twice served (2001, 2004) as an official adjudicator/judge for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) “Henry Marshall Prize Fights” with other judges including John Barton, Henry Goodman, Malcolm Ranson and Richard Bradshaw.

As a fight director, New York, regional, and international credits include the Lincoln Center, Lucille Lortel Theatre, John Housman Theatre, Westbeth Theatre, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, New American Theatre, Iowa Summer Repertory, Tulsa Opera, San Antonio Opera, Dallas Theatre Center, Texas Ballet Theater, Prague Shakespeare Company and many other companies. In Houston, his work as a movement director and fight director includes the Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Stages Repertory Theatre, Theatre Under The Stars, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Houston Ballet, Dominic Walsh Dance Theater, The Ensemble Theatre, Classical Theatre Company, Main Street Theatre, Opera in the Heights, as well as other area theatres. Brian has also worked with animation companies as a “motion capture” fight director and performer including Retro Studios & Nintendo in the United States, and Starbreeze in Sweden.