David Bridel

Portrait of David Bridel

Photo of David Bridel by Elizabeth Beristain


David Bridel is dean of the USC School of Dramatic Arts, and a director, choreographer, playwright, librettist, performer and teacher of acting, movement and clown. His work in all these theatrical disciplines has been seen at the Mark Taper Forum, the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, the Odyssey Theater, the Ford Amphitheatre, the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and the Broad Stage in Los Angeles; Classic Stage Company, the BMI Musical Workshop and the Bound for Broadway series in New York; at Shakespeare & Company and Barrington Stage in Mass.; the Roy Hart Theatre in Malerargues, France; the TEDxUSC conference 2012 and TEDxBeijing 2014; in opera houses in Los Angeles, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Mexico City, Guanajuato, Santiago and Madrid; on screen (PBS’ Great Performances series and ABC’s Dancing With the Stars); and at universities, festivals and theatres in the U.S., U.K., Israel, China, Hong Kong, Australia, Austria and Brazil – including the Beijing Film Academy, the National Theatre of China and the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture in Sao Paulo.

Under his leadership, the School is prioritizing new contemporary programs, an emphasis on New Media, professional partnerships, and a focus on equity and inclusion. He was previously the director of the MFA in acting program.

Bridel’s original plays I Gelosi and Sublimity are both published by Original Works Press (Sublimity, Bridel’s solo performance, won the Best Satire Award at the 2013 United Solo Festival in New York). He is also the winner of an ARC Grant from the Center for Cultural Initiatives, a Cultural Engagement Grant from the Department of Cultural Affairs, an Entertainment Weekly Special Events Award, a NYFA Fiction Award, an Anna Sosenko Musical Theater Award, and a Zumberge Award for his research project, Clowns Across Continents. His productions have also been nominated for the LA Weekly Theatre Awards. His co-authored the book Clowns: In Conversation With Modern Masters, published by Routledge.

Bridel has contributed to American Theatre magazine and he is the Founding and Artistic Director of The Clown School in Los Angeles, the only studio in the city devoted exclusively to the study and practice of clowning, officially partnered with Improv First in Beijing and the Stanislavsky Institute in Brazil.

“Bridel is the real thing, one of the most inventive, scholarly, and vastly challenging voices on the current theatrical scene.”

Los Angeles Times