Home > Faculty > François-Pierre Couture

François-Pierre Couture


François-Pierre Couture has had the privilege of working in Los Angeles and the United States for the last decade as a scenic, lighting and projection designer. His multifaceted and dynamic approach to his craft has given him the opportunity to work across multiple environments and venues. He has received multiple Ovation, LADCC and LA Weekly awards and nominations. His designs include: Invisible Tango and A Picasso, Geffen Playhouse; Everything That Never Happened and With Love and Major Organ, Boston Court Theatre; Destiny of Desire at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory and Goodman Theatre; Jackie Unveiled, Wallis Theatre; The Mexican Trilogy, an American History at Los Angeles Theatre Center; Metamorphoses and Everything Is Illuminated, Ensemble Theatre Company; Médée and Teseo, Chicago Opera Theatre; and L'Elisir d'Amore and Cold Mountain, Music Academy of the West.

In addition to UCLA TFT, Couture teaches at Cal State Long Beach and is a full-time professor at East Los Angeles College.

Originally from Montréal, Canada, Couture earned his scenic and lighting design M.F.A. at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television in 2006.



Home > Faculty > Hilario Saavedra

Hilario Saavedra


Hilario Saavedra has directed and acted in the United States and around the world for more than a decade. His most recent performance in Fantomas: Revenge of the Image had its world premiere at the Wuhzen Theatre Festival in China. Multidisciplinary performances and creative collaborations have been a major theme in Saavedra's work and have included such mediums as puppetry, dance and physical storytelling. These performances include Clouded Sulphur, directed by Janie Geiser and written by Erik Ehn; Exhibit A and Concrete Folk Variations, directed by Susan Simpson; and Chen Shi-Zheng’s Peach Blossom Fan. Saavedra made his international debut with Michel Vinaver's 11 September 2001, which premiered at REDCAT in Los Angeles and Theatre Nationale de la Colline in Paris. His solo performance, Adramelech's Monologue, written and directed by Valère Novarina, was first developed in Chicago as part of the Act French Festival by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and has since been performed in Iowa, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. His stage adaptation of T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland premiered as part of the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival and won "Best of the Fringe" residency.


Home > Faculty > Hana Kim

Hana Kim


Hana Kim is an award-winning projection designer based in Los Angeles. Her design works have been seen across the country including at the Public Theater in New York, ACT in San Francisco, LA Opera, Geffen Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Opera Colorado and South Coast Rep. Her video art installations have been shown at the Annenberg Space of Photography in Los Angeles and the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.

She is a 2018 recipient of the Richard E. Sherwood Award from Center Theater Group and has received a Princess Grace Award in Theater Design. Her designs have won a Helen Hayes Award, Stage Raw Awards, StageSceneLA Awards and Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards.

Recent projects include The Great Leap (American Conservatory Theater), Ragtime (Pasadena Playhouse), Fun Home (Baltimore Center Stage) and MahaB Working Title (Shaw Festival Theatre, Canada).



Home > Faculty > Alexis Jacknow

Alexis Jacknow


Alexis JacknowAlexis Jacknow is a Los Angeles-based, multidisciplinary director, actor and writer.

Most recently, she wrote and directed two episodes for the Hulu series Love Daily — Group, starring Brianna Hildebrand, and Overnight, which received a 2019 WGA Award Nomination in the category of Short Form New Media.

Jacknow’s debut short film, Again, had its world premiere in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival, and played internationally on the festival circuit before being distributed by Amazon.

Other recent credits include directing and developing the world premiere of Bekah Brunstetter's Hey Brother; L.A. Theatre Works’ live recording of The Hound of the Baskervilles, which received an Audie Award Best Audio Drama, Publisher Weekly’s Listen Up! Award; and Neil Labute’s Fat Pig at the Hudson Theatre, which included new material not seen before in the United States. The Los Angeles Times called the show, "[a] revival that packs an unexpectedly emotional wallop" and said Jacknow's direction, "earns instant credibility from the pitch-perfect opening scene." The production received an Ovation recommendation, a BroadwayWorld nomination for Best Play, and was a Stage Raw Top Ten Pick.

At the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, she directed the world premieres of Georgia Is Waiting and A Wolf’s Mother for the M.F.A. New Play Festival.

In Fall 2019, she directed L.A. Theatre Works’ national tour of Seven.

She is currently attached to direct Erin Darke’s feature, Mad About Saffron, and is in development on her own feature, The Villager, with producer Chris Ohlson.

Jacknow received a B.F.A. with honors in acting and a minor in history from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA/AEA/SDC and a WGA Associate.


Home > Faculty > Roshni Shukla

Roshni Shukla


Roshni ShuklaRoshni Shukla is the co-artistic director of the southland company, a non-profit ensemble based in Los Angeles. The company is rooted interdisciplinary work and collaborates with film and musical artists on their theatrical productions. Half of their work is in service to the community with their “Literacy through Theater” program, which is geared toward working with youth in promoting an appreciation for storytelling.

the southland company premiered one of Shukla’s new plays, The Gita & the Gun, which follows 16-year old Abhiti living as the target of bullies and with a single mother stuck in the past. Encouraged by nightly visits from a mysterious trumpet-playing elephant, Abhiti learns to face her darkest fears. The play featured live music and combined a classical myth within a contemporary story.

As an actor, Shukla has worked with the SITI Company in their production of The Bacchae directed by Anne Bogart at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in New York and at The Getty Villa in Los Angeles. Shukla made her Canadian debut at the Ryerson Theater (Toronto) in Arranged Marriage, written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and directed by Peggy Shannon, the dean of the Ryerson School of Performance. She was recently in the world premiere production of Rabbit/Moon at the Boise Contemporary Theater in Idaho. Shukla has also voiced work for Penguin Random House for books such as Ayesha at Last: A Novel by Uzma Jalaluddin. Other theater credits include A Christmas Carol (A Noise Within), Queen of Califas (Los Angeles Theatre Center), Queen of the Remote Control (Sacramento Theatre Company) and Arranged Marriage (world premiere, Sacramento Theatre Company). Film and TV credits include Fox’s 9-1-1, and NBC’s Outsourced and Friends with Benefits.

As a director, Shukla has helmed productions such as Sara Ruhl’s Eurydice at The Arena Stage in Los Angeles as well as several staged readings of new work developed by the southland company. She has also directed for the Living Room Series held at The Blank Theatre.

Shukla was selected to be part of the team assembled to work on a collaboration between Google and the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. They explored new ways to connect performance with technology and included both live and online audiences for an innovative production titled Los Atlantis or otherwise known as “The Google Project.” She served the team as writer, actor and story editor for the production.

Shukla attended the University of San Francisco (USF) where she received a bachelor of science in international business. During her time at USF she studied liberation theology and contributed to discussions on post Salvadoran Civil War life at Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in El Salvador. She received her master of fine arts in theater (acting) from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. During her graduate tenure, Shukla received a full-ride scholarship to attend the British American Drama Academy Midsummer in Oxford Program at Oxford University. In addition, Shukla had the distinct honor of traveling to Japan to study under the internationally renowned theater director Tadashi Suzuki and his company, the Suzuki Company of Toga.


Home > Faculty > Sara Lyons

Sara Lyons


Saras LyonsSara Lyons is a Los Angeles-based director who seeks to explode form and politic in critically embodied, interdisciplinary new theater and performance works. Working frequently in adaptation, social practice and new media, Lyons' work has been presented nationally and internationally by Los Angeles Performance Practice, CultureHubLA, OUTsider, SFX Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, HERE Arts Center, LaMaMa, Edinburgh Fringe, and more.

Current projects include I’m Very Into You, an original adaptation of the published 1995 email correspondence by feminist literary legend Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark. Called “worth keeping an eye out for” by American Theatre magazine, I’m Very Into You is an ongoing queer archival performance project engaging local queer and feminist artists. It has been presented by The Wattis Institute, Los Angeles Performance Practice and OUTsider.

Lyons holds an M.F.A. in directing from Carnegie Mellon University and is an alum of the Hemispheric Institute's EMERGENYC program for artists working at the intersection of performance and politics at NYU. Lyons is a features writer with ContemporaryPerformance.com.


Home > Faculty > Kitty Doris-Bates

Kitty Doris-Bates


Kitty Doris-Bates teaches production design courses in the UCLA TFT Department of Theater.

After receiving her B.F.A. in fine art and architecture from The Cooper Union, she began her professional career as an advertising art director in New York City. A year later, she left advertising behind to volunteer on a Kibbutz in Israel. It was there that she was seen drawing and was asked to work on an archeological dig, creating floor plans of an excavation site. That experience led to digs around the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and years of travel and exploration in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Africa.

Upon her return to the United States in 1988, Doris-Bates decided to pursue film and television design, receiving her M.F.A. in production design from the American Film Institute. Since that time, her many production designer credits have included a number of HBO series such as From the Earth to the Moon, Big Love, Getting On, The Comeback and Ballers; the HBO movie Grand Avenue; NBC’s American Dreams; FX’s The Shield; ABC Family’s Lincoln Heights; Sundance Channel’s The Red Road; and Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.

She is currently working on the Netflix series AJ and the Queen.


Home > Faculty > Roya Rastegar

Roya Rastegar


Roya Rastegar

Roya Rastegar is a writer, curator and filmmaker who teaches the graduate seminar “Cinema and the State” in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media. She wrote the magical realist documentary Wildness (2011), which premiered at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and won the Grand Jury Prize at Outfest; and produced the Netflix Originals documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017).

Rastegar has been on the programming team of a number of film festivals, including Tribeca, Sundance and the Santa Cruz Woman of Color Film Festival. Since 2006, she has focused on the evaluation of U.S. fiction feature films and VR for the Sundance Film Festival. As the Director of Programming at the L.A. Film Festival, Rastegar reoriented the festival’s mission and programming to showcase emerging writers and directors. She was formerly a Helena Rubenstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and is currently a Creative Capital Fellow in Emerging Fields.

Under the guidance of Angela Y. Davis and B. Ruby Rich, Rastegar’s doctoral work at the History of Consciousness program at UC Santa Cruz outlines a curatorial methodology for radically inclusive and diverse cinematic spaces. She teaches courses in film and gender studies, critical race theory, political philosophy and postcolonial theory. As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Rastegar designed and taught introductory and senior seminars at Bryn Mawr College, including “Women of Color & Independent Film,” “Curating for the Revolution: Film Festival Practices,” “Middle East on Film” and “Black Film Aesthetics.”

Rastegar’s writing on gender, race and popular culture can be found in mainstream press such as Wired, The Nation, Indiewire and The Huffington Post, alongside peer-reviewed publications such as American Quarterly, Camera Obscura and Screen Journal. She is currently writing a book manuscript, The Death of American Film Festivals, based on her doctoral research.

Recent publications include:

“The Future of Documentary: Industry, Identity, and Politics” In World Records 2, no. 1 (December 2018)

“Physical Cinema at Sundance’s New Frontier: A Cosmic Demonstration of Curatorial Practice” In Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making, 2018

“Seeing Differently: The Curatorial Potential of Film Festival Programming” In Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice, 2017



Home > Faculty > Rob Clare

Rob Clare


Rob ClareRob Clare was originally an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). He later became Staff Director at the U.K. National Theatre and associate artistic director of Compass, the major U.K. touring company, for which he directed the first major revival of Amadeus. He was also one of the pioneers of working creatively with inmates within the U.K. prison system, using structured improvisation to develop new and original dramatic material. Becoming increasingly interested in differing approaches to working with Shakespeare’s texts, he completed a doctorate in the subject at Oxford University, and has since become an internationally recognized Shakespeare specialist. He has worked in numerous training institutions within the U.K., and established the M.A. Classical Acting course at The Central School of Speech & Drama in London, which he also led for its first three years. Since resuming his freelance career, Clare has directed and/or taught Shakespeare in Ireland, Austria, Germany, Australia, China and the United States. In India, he directed Hindi productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.

Before moving to the U.S., Clare worked regularly for almost a decade as a freelance specialist verse and text coach with the RSC’s core acting ensemble, leading annual workshops, and working in and alongside rehearsals for productions of Richard III; Richard II; Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; Henry V; and Hamlet. In other locations, he has also directed productions of As You Like It; Cymbeline; Twelfth Night; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Love’s Labour’s Lost; King Lear, The Winter’s Tale, Richard III, Pericles and The Duchess of Malfi. He has worked regularly at The Actors Center in New York City, The Academy for Classical Acting in Washington, D.C., and with the acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, for whose ensemble he led Shakespeare workshops. While there, he also provided specialized verse and text work for Tina Landau’s production of The Tempest. Current projects include directing Richard III for The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles.

In addition to UCLA TFT, Clare has been a visiting faculty member at USC, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, Brown, Yale, The Juilliard School and NYU Tisch School of the Arts.


Home > Faculty > Kathy Huang

Kathy Huang


Kathy HuangKathy Huang is a nonfiction filmmaker with a strong interest in issues of identity and belonging. Her feature-length directing debut, Tales of the Waria, was funded by ITVS and follows a community of transgender women in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, as they search for romance and intimacy. The film received multiple Audience Choice Awards, and was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2012. She is currently working on Guangzhou Love Story, a multi-year portrait of an African-Chinese family navigating life in mainland China. The film has received support from ITVS, the Center for Asian American Media, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Firelight Media.

Huang’s other short films include Night Visions, a soldier’s meditation on the Iraq War, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and Silverdocs and received the War and Peace Award from the Media That Matters Film Festival. Miss Chinatown USA, a portrait of a young woman competing in one of America’s oldest ethnic beauty pageants, also screened at Tribeca and aired on public television.

Huang received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and a master’s degree in documentary film production from Stanford University. She is a Fellow of Tribeca All Access, Film Independent, the WGBH Producer’s Academy, Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Accelerator Lab and Firelight Media’s Producer’s Lab. She also sits on the steering committee of New Day Films, a filmmaker-run, social-issue film distribution company.