Home > Faculty > Mark Rosman

Mark Rosman


Mark RosmanMark Rosman has been a Hollywood writer and director for more than 30 years working in features, TV movies and episodic television. He directed Warner Bros.’ award-winning box office hit A Cinderella Story, starring Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray and Jennifer Coolidge. Rosman re-teamed with Duff on Universal’s The Perfect Man, which also starred Heather Locklear and Chris Noth. He directed William & Kate for Lifetime and two movies for ABC Family Channel: Princess, one of the highest rated TV movies of 2008, and the Christmas romantic comedy Snow 2: Brain Freeze.

Rosman’s career began with the cult classic horror/thriller The House on Sorority Row, which he wrote, directed and produced. The film became one of the highest grossing independent theatrical features of 1983. Among the highly rated TV movies he has directed are Life-Size, starring Lindsay Lohan and Tyra Banks for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney, and The Blue Yonder, which Rosman also wrote. The latter was nominated for a Writers Guild and Cable Ace Awards. Rosman’s series television work has included directing numerous episodes of the hit comedies Lizzie McGuire, State of Grace and Even Stevens. His dramatic TV work includes the primetime CBS suspense drama Ghost Whisperer and the ABC Family hit series Greek.

Rosman serves as 410 coordinator in the Production Program at UCLA TFT. As 410 coordinator, he is responsible for supervising all aspects of the instruction of UCLA TFT’s first-year MFA directing and cinematography students, and overseeing their film productions.

He is a film school graduate of NYU’s School of the Arts (now the Tisch School of the Arts), is a member of the Writers Guild and Directors Guild, and has taught filmmaking at numerous universities. In addition to teaching at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, he is currently an adjunct faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.


Student Film “The Battle of the Jazz Guitarists” doing well on Festival Circuit

Battle of the Jazz Guitarist

Posted on November 15th 2012 in Announcement

“The Battle of the Jazz Guitarists,” a documentary directed by MFA Directing student Mark Columbus ’10, MFA ’13, has been making it’s way around the festival circuit over the past several months. In addition to being chosen as an official selection at the CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, the film also won best short documentary at both the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Guanajuato International Film Festival.

Columbus made this tribute documentary about his father Max, a jazz guitarist once famous in the Fiji Islands who took a big hit to his career by moving his family to America. Though just 7 minutes long, the film gives the viewer fantastic insight into the family’s history and provides a emotional yet humorous examination of the father-son relationship.

For a more thorough overview of the film, check out the great write up on below!

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Home > Faculty > Michael McLain

Michael McLain

Professor Emeritus

Michael McLainMichael McLain participated in the founding of the Geffen Playhouse as its initial literary director and artistic associate, and he was similarly involved in the founding of the School of Theater, Film and Television as its first associate dean for the Department of Theater. As a Fulbright-Scholar, McLain conducted research in the areas of directing and director training in the former Soviet Union. Subsequently, he was a member of the first faculty exchange between the UC and what was then Leningrad State University. In 2011, McLain became a fellow of the Likachev Foundation, St. Petersburg. In more than three decades of teaching in the Department of Theater, McLain directed works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Brecht and Sam Shepard, among many others. He is the co-author of Play Directing: Analysis, Communication and Style, now in its seventh edition (Allyn & Bacon). He is a consultant to the government of Hong Kong in the area of theater curricula for graduate and undergraduate programs.


Home > Faculty > Michael Hackett

Michael Hackett


About DeanMichael Hackett is a professor of directing and theater history and former chair of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s Department of Theater.

He has directed for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Royal Theatre at The Hague; the Centrum Sztuki Studio and Dramatyczny Theatre in Warsaw; Santa Fe Short Story Festival; Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; Los Angeles Opera (children’s series); Musica Angelica; Antaeus Company; the Geffen Playhouse; and 15 radio productions for L.A. Theater Works including Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (which was nominated for two Audie Awards) with Charles Busch.

Hackett taught at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art for three years, where he co-designed and instituted a music-drama program and gave a series of lecture/demonstrations for the Royal College of Music. He has also given workshops for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Since 1995, he directed Greek chorus workshops and presentations for the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.

Familiar to opera audiences in Southern California, Hackett has lectured extensively for the Los Angeles Opera and, for these activities, was given the Fifth Annual Peter Hemmings Award by the Opera League of Los Angeles.

Hackett has also conducted more than 70 arts-related interviews for classical radio KUSC and he has lectured at the Huntington Museum of Art, Norton Simon Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Costume Council), Armand Hammer Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum and Getty Research Institute.

He was the co-editor and wrote the introduction for Five Plays by Carlo Goldoni, published in March 2016 by the University of Toronto Press for the Lorenzo da Ponte Italian Library.

Hackett received an A.B. in English from Boston College and a Ph.D. in drama and the humanities from Stanford University.


Home > Faculty > Mel Shapiro

Mel Shapiro


Mel ShapiroMel Shapiro is professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. During his tenure at UCLA TFT, he served as a distinguished professor of Theater. Prior to his time at UCLA TFT, he was one of the founders of NYU’s Theater Program (Tisch School) and was the head of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. For the last several years, he has been an advisor for Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theater program.

On Broadway, he directed the Tony Award and NY Drama Critics Award-winning musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, John Guare’s Bosoms and Neglect and Stop the World — I Want to Get off starring Sammy Davis, Jr. He directed the off-Broaday productions of Guare’s The House of Blue Leaves (named best American play by the NY Drama Critics), Vaclev Havel’s The Increased Difficulty of Concentration (Obie Award, best foreign play) and five productions for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. He has also directed in London and in various regional theaters such as the Tyrone Guthrie in Minneapolis, the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Center Theatre Group Los Angeles, and the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada.

Shapiro has received Tony, Obie, New York Drama Critics, Drama Desk and Drama-Logue awards. He is the author of An Actor Performs and The Director’s Companion.


Home > Faculty > Jose Luis Valenzuela

Jose Luis Valenzuela

Distinguished Professor; Head of Directing

About Jose Luis ValenzuelaJosé Luis Valenzuela is the artistic director of the Los Angeles Theatre Center, an award-winning theater and film director and a tenured professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.

For more than 25 years, Valenzuela has directed critically acclaimed productions at major regional theaters including the Los Angeles Theatre Center, where he created the Latino Theatre Lab in 1985, and the Mark Taper Forum, where he established the Latino Theater Initiative. He most recently directed Premeditation and Solitude, both by Evelina Fernandez (LATC), La Victima by El Teatro de La Esperanza (LATC), and La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin (Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral), all produced by the Latino Theater Company.

His international directing credits include Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt at the Norland Theatre in Norway and Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman at the National Theatre of Norway. In 2002, he directed the world premiere of Dementia, written by Evelina Fernandez, for the Latino Theater Initiative, which won the 2003 GLAAD Award for Outstanding Theater Production in Los Angeles. Valenzuela was featured in The New York Times in December 2007 and the Los Angeles Times in December 2008 for his annual pageant play La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin.

In 2006, he successfully acquired funding from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment to renovate the Los Angeles Theatre Center for which the Latino Theater Company received a 20-year lease from the City of Los Angeles.

Valenzuela’s artistic vision and community commitment has garnered him many recognitions, nominations and awards including the Ann C. Rosenfield Distinguished Community Partnership Prize presented by UCLA Center for Community Partnerships, and the Hispanic Heritage Month Local Hero of the Year Award sponsored by Union Bank and KCET, Los Angeles. Both awards recognize distinguished citizens for their contributions to improving the quality of life throughout their respective communities.


Home > Faculty > Gil Cates

Gil Cates

About Gil CatesDirector and Emmy Award-winning producer Gil Cates was the founding Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television from 1990 to 1997 and the producing director of the Geffen Playhouse from 1995 to 2011.

Cates produced a record 14 Academy Awards telecasts from 1990 to 2008 and was Emmy nominated 13 times for his efforts, winning the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special award in 1991.

During his tenure at the Geffen Playhouse, he directed a number of productions including Jeffrey Hatcher’s A Picasso (2007); a new adaptation of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon (2004-05); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2005-06); David Eldridge’s Under the Blue Sky (2002-03); and Donald Margulies’ Collected Stories (1999), for which he won a best director Ovation Award.

In the early years of his career, he produced and directed many plays on and off-Broadway including Voices (1972); I Never Sang for My Father (1968); and You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running (1967-69).

In 1970, Cates produced and directed the film version of I Never Sang for My Father, starring Gene Hackman, which earned three Academy Award nominations. He also directed Joanne Woodward and Sylvia Sidney in the 1973 film Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams, which received two nominations. Other film directing credits include Dragonfly aka One Summer Love (1976); The Promise (1979); The Last Married Couple in America (1980); Oh! God Book II (1980); and Backfire (1988).

Cates received the DGA’s Presidents Award in 2005, the DGA Honorary Life Member Award in 1991 and the guild’s Robert B. Aldrich Achievement Award for extraordinary service. In early 2005, Cates was awarded the American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of Governors Award. That same year, he was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In November 1996, he received the Jimmy Doolittle Award for Outstanding Contribution to Los Angeles Theater.

Cates served two terms as Directors Guild of America president from 1983 to 1987 and sat on the Academy’s Board of Governors twice: From 1984-1993
and again from 2002-2005. He was Board of Governors vice president from 2003-05.

Cates passed away on October 31, 2011 in Los Angeles.


Home > Faculty > Brian Kite

Brian Kite

Chair, Department of Theater; PROFESSOR

About Brian KiteBrian Kite has directed live theater across the United States and abroad. He served as producing artistic director of La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts from 2008-2015 and directed many productions for the theater, co-produced by McCoy Rigby Entertainment, including their critically acclaimed productions of American Idiot, Billy Elliot, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Little Shop of Horrors, Dinner With Friends, Steel Magnolias, starring Cathy Rigby, Driving Miss Daisy, starring Michael Learned, and David Auburn’s Proof.

Kite is the recipient of the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his production of Spring Awakening and was again nominated for his productions of Les Misérables and American Idiot. He directed the national tours of Judgment at Nuremberg, In the Heat of the Night, The Graduate, and Pride and Prejudice for L.A. Theatre Works, and staged the first production of Miss Saigon to ever play in China when his show closed the Macau International Music Festival. He also directed Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers, starring Margaret Colin, which toured throughout Mainland China. The production was the first U.S. production of a play at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). In 2018, he staged the South China premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Rabbit Hole in Mandarin at the Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Center in Guangzhou, China. He helmed a production of production of Cabaret in Bermuda under the patronage of the Queen’s Governor and directed Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at The Actors Co-op in Hollywood. His work with actress/writer Michelle Azar, From Baghdad to Brooklyn, premiered at the United Solo Festival in New York City in 2017 and continues to tour nationally.

Other credits include the live radio recordings of David Mamet’s American Buffalo, David Rambo’s The Tug of War and Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced. He directed the Los Angeles revival of Archibald MacLeish’s J.B., and the West Coast premiere of Václav Havel’s The Beggar’s Opera. In addition, he directed the Philadelphia production of Glenn Wein’s Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral and worked with Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan on Geffen Playhouse’s production of Hedda Gabler, starring Annette Bening. He directed more than 20 productions during his tenure as director of theater programs at New York’s French Woods Festival, a position he held for more than seven years.

Kite serves on the Board of Governors of the L.A. Stage Alliance, holds an appointment as a visiting professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and is the artistic director of the award-winning Buffalo Nights Theatre Company.