Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 336-770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu



For the School of Dance and University Programs

WINSTON-SALEM – University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Provost David Nelson has announced two interim dean appointments.


Brenda Daniels, currently assistant dean of the School of Dance, will serve as interim dean until the position is filled permanently. A search is presently under way for the dean of the School of Dance. Ethan Stiefel, dean of the dance school since 2007, announced last September that he would step down at the end of the 2010-11 school year to reconnect with important professional and personal matters. He has since announced that he is joining the Royal New Zealand Ballet as artistic director. He has also become engaged to his partner of 10 years, UNCSA alumna Gillian Murphy. Both are principal dancers with American Ballet Theatre.

Dean Wilcox, currently assistant dean of University Programs, will serve as interim dean following the retirement of veteran Dean Richard “Rick” Miller this summer. A search committee will be formed in the fall to fill the position permanently.

“Please join me in offering congratulations and thanks to Brenda and Dean for providing leadership to us through this transitional period,” Provost Nelson wrote to the campus community in making the announcements.

Brenda Daniels holds the Betsy Friday Distinguished Professorship in Contemporary Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She has been on the faculty at UNCSA since 1995 and has been the assistant dean for contemporary dance since 2004.

She was artistic director of her own company, the Brenda Daniels Dance Company, from 1985-1995. The company presented annual seasons in New York, and toured in the United States and Europe. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her choreography has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, St. Mark’s Church, and theatres throughout Germany and the Netherlands.  Performance credits include Ton Simons and Dancers, Mel Wong, Ellen Cornfield, Shelley Lee, Douglas Dunn, William Douglas, Bill Young, and the Palindrome Dance Company. 

Currently on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Daniels has also taught at the Merce Cunningham Studio, Hollins University, UNC-Greensboro, Wake Forest University, Harvard Summer Dance Center, Cornish College, Texas Christian University, Stephens College, Sam Houston State University, Connecticut College, California State University at Long Beach, Vassar, and Purchase College.  She has a B.F.A. in Dance from Purchase College and an M.F.A. in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival.

Dean Wilcox, who has served as assistant dean of the Undergraduate Academic Program (now University Programs) since 2006, joined the School of the Arts faculty in 1999.

Wilcox received his Ph.D. In Theatre History, Theory, and Criticism from the University of Washington, an M.F.A. in Lighting Design from the University of South Carolina, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). Before coming to UNCSA he taught at the University of California at San Diego, Cornell University, and Texas Tech University.

He has designed lights at The Little Theatre of Winston Salem; Wake Forest University Theatre; Dartmouth College; The Bathhouse Theatre in Seattle; Cornell University; Stagewest in Springfield, Mass.; Highlands Playhouse in Highlands, N.C.; and UNCSA. In addition to periodically working as a dramaturg, he has published articles and book reviews in Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Research International, and Modern Drama on such topics as: the intersection of semiotics and phenomenology, Josef Svoboda’s multimedia design for Intolleranza, the convergence of chaos theory and performance, Karen Finley’s “deconstructive” technique, ambient space in 20th-century theatre, and post-semiotic performance. Courses taught at UNCSA include Theatre History, Postmodern Drama, Avant-Garde Performance, Epic Theatre, Feminist Theatre, Performance Art, The Aesthetics of Dissonance, Melodrama, and Chaos Theory and the Arts. 

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.