UC San Diego Theater Alumnus Steals Spotlight with Princess Grace Award

Joshua Brody, M.F.A. '13 (Photo by Matt MacNelly)
Joshua Brody, M.F.A. ’13 (Photo by Matt MacNelly)

The University of California San Diego, Division of Arts and Humanities announces that alumnus Joshua Brody is a recipient of the prestigious 2015 Princess Grace Award, an honor given by the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in support of promising artists. Brody will apply his honorarium toward a 12-month apprenticeship at La Jolla Playhouse.

The Department of Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego, one of the top theater training programs in the nation, works in partnership with La Jolla Playhouse — a professional organization separate from the university — to offer students hands-on experience that enhances resumes and jumpstarts careers.

Brody, a 2013 UC San Diego M.F.A. graduate, merited the award named in honor of the late Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco for his directing skill. He and other winners will be celebrated at the annual Princess Grace Awards Ceremony in New York City, Sept. 25.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the award,” said Brody. “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the people at La Jolla Playhouse and UC San Diego who have supported me.”

According to Jim Carmody, chair of UC San Diego’s Department of Theatre and Dance, Brody’s work is fueled equally by his intellect and generous spirit.

“Josh makes smart, provocative and inspirational theater,” Carmody said. “I am looking forward to having him back in the campus’s Theatre District.”

During his apprenticeship, Brody said that he will be working mostly on new play development, which will afford him the opportunity to connect with other young and emerging artists while he increases his knowledge about creating new work.

La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley commented, “Josh is a savvy and compassionate collaborator on new works, possessed of an impressive analytical toolkit and generosity towards writers. He is also wickedly smart, with an endlessly curious and inquisitive mind that pulls him to challenge himself as much as he challenges the artists and audiences with whom he and his work comes into contact.”

Ashley added that a firmer grasp on the world of new play development will be invaluable in Brody’s continuing growth both as a director and as the leader of a company interested in increasing its commitment to diverse new work.

Brody acknowledged that the learning experience and professional growth he will gain at La Jolla Playhouse will benefit THE TRIP, a San Diego-based production company he coestablished with fellow UC San Diego alumnus and 2010 M.F.A. graduate Tom Dugdale, also a former Prince Grace Award recipient.

THE TRIP works with artists committed to theater as a live, self-aware exchange between performers and spectators. Through an interdisciplinary and often site-specific approach to theater, Brody and Dugdale test the boundaries of traditional performance space. Their work appeared last year at the playhouse’s debut “Without Walls (WoW) Festival,” which featured alumni and students from the UC San Diego Department of Theatre and Dance. The creative duo will also present a new adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s, “Three Sisters,” when La Jolla Playhouse hosts its second WoW event Oct. 9 – 11, 2015, on the university’s campus.

UC San Diego’s “Titus Andronicus,” directed by Joshua Brody in February 2013. (Photo by Jim Carmody)
UC San Diego’s “Titus Andronicus,” directed by Joshua Brody in February 2013. (Photo by Jim Carmody)

“The Playhouse prides itself on being a home for the new and the next in American theater. Joshua Brody represents both of those things to the highest caliber,” Ashley said.

Currently, Brody is a freelance theater director, educator and actor who lives in San Diego, but maintains a residence in New York City. There, he has directed several productions for which he earned various awards including the FringeNYC Award of Overall Excellence in Directing. He teaches acting and directing to undergraduate students at UC San Diego and received the Teaching Excellence Award in 2013. Brody holds dual citizenship in the United States and United Kingdom. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University before attending UC San Diego.

“The department is enormously proud of Josh and all the other artists who have graduated from our M.F.A. program and gone on to make their marks in the American theater, film and television worlds,” Carmody said.

For more information, visit the Division of Arts and Humanities and Department of Theatre and Dance.