The Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism promotes excellence in the study of theatre by supporting scholarship, education and public history. Named after Professor Emeritus and renowned theatre history scholar Oscar G. Brockett, the Brockett Center seeks to create bridges between scholars, practitioners and community by encouraging public conversation about the art of live theatre.
The Brockett Center co-sponsors four annual awards that recognize the highest quality scholarship and teaching in the field.
In partnership with the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR), the Brockett Center supports The Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize, awarded fro the best essay written and published in English in a refereed scholarly journal or volume published by a scholarly press and relating to any subject in theatre research.
The Oscar G. Brockett Golden Pen Award at USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) recognizes a recent publication in the field of design and production for the performing arts.
In recognition of Dr. Brockett's contribution to the field of teaching theatre in higher education, the Brockett center co-sponors The Oscar G. Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education award at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). ATHE gives the award annually to one professor who exemplifies excellence in the craft of teaching and student mentorship.
The Brockett Center co-sponsors The Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research with the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD) in recognition of the best book in dance published during the previous three calendar years.
The Brockett Center aims to make history accessible to the public. In 2015, the Brockett Center began writing a theatre history column in American Theatre Magazine. This monthly "Almanac" features significant anniversaries of events and people in theatre history. In 2016, the Brockett Center partnered with American Theatre Magazine to create an "antecedents" column tracing the historical roots of current theatrical events. The Brockett Center also partnered with the American Theatre Archive Project to archive documents and histories of local Austin theatres.
The Brockett Center offers scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students studying theatre history at The University of Texas at Austin. Students have contributed to the various initiatives of the Center, including the "Almanac" series with American Theatre Magazine and the American Theatre Archive Project. The Brockett Center encourages undergraduate dramaturgy at The University of Texas Austin, mentoring student dramaturgs for university and professional, Austin-based theatres.
Initiatives and Awards
The following are recent awards and initiatives of the Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism.
- Co-Sponsored the 2016 Oscar G. Brockett Golden Pen Award at USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology), given to Arnold Aronson for his book Ming Cho Lee: a Life in Design.
- Co-Sponsored the 2015 Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize at American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR), given to Ellen MacKay, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, for her essay "Acting Historical with Shakespeare, or William-Henry Ireland's Oaken Chest" Shakespeare Survey, vol. 67 (2014), Editor: Peter Holland.
- Co-Sponsored the 2014 Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize at American Society of Theatre Research (ASTR), given to Marvin Carlson for his work "The Arab Aristophanes," published in Comparative Drama 47:2 (2013).
- Co-Sponsored the 2014 Oscar G. Brockett Book Prize for Dance Research at Congress on Research in Dance (CORD), given to Paul Scolieri, associate professor of dance at Barnard College for his book Dancing the New World: Aztecs, Spaniards, and the Choreography of Conquest.
- Funded and hosted Consortium of Programs in Theatre History and Performance Studies.
- Provided support for "The State of the Comedia Suelta: Celebrating the Texas Collections," a two-day symposium at the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin (2014).
- Celebrated the opening of the Oscar G. Brockett archive at a public event with The University of Texas at Austin Fine Arts Library (2014).
- Brockett Scholars: Scholarships for students studying theatre history at The University of Texas at Austin.
- Brockett Fellow: Scholarship for a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin who works on the Brockett Center's initiatives.
- Co-Sponsored 2015 Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education at Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), given to E. Patrick Johnson.
- Co-Sponsored the 2014 Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education at Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), given to Gretel Geist Rutledge of Michigan State University.
- Co-Sponsored the 2013 Oscar Brockett Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education at Association of Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), given to Joseph Roach or Yale University.
- Coordinated pre-show talk with student dramaturgs, in conjunction with the Department of Theatre and Dance's staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, about the Tennessee Williams holding at the Harry Ransom Center and the production's dramaturgy process.
- Supported dramaturgical study at The University of Texas at Austin by mentoring student dramaturgs assigned to productions.
- Partnered with American Theatre Archive Project to provide archival services for Austin theatres and ensembles, including ZACH Theatre, Rude Mechs and Teatro Vivo.
- Partnered with American Theatre Magazine to author a monthly historial almanac column.
- Partnered with American Theatre Magazine to author "antecedents" column.
- Supported the residency of Holly Hughes, fall of 2015.
- In coordination with University of Texas at Austin student dramaturgs, presented on topics in theatre history at professional theatres in Austin, Texas.
- Co-sponsored an internet-wide edit-a-thon to promote greater visibility for theatre artists, plays, companies, journalists/critics and scholars from underrepresented groups.
- Provided financial support for the Latin@ Performance Symposium associated with The University of Texas at Austin's staging of In the Heights in 2014.
- Began creation of a Cohen New Works Festival Archive at The University of Texas at Austin.
Ways to Give
We are grateful for the many friends, alumni and colleagues who have supported The Oscar G. Brockett Center for Theatre History and Criticism. We especially wish to recognize our leadership donors who have passionately championed this effort in Dr. Brockett's honor.
- Former University of Texas at Austin President William Powers
- Francesca Brockett and Jim Pedicano
- D. Terry Williams
- Sondra Lomax
The Oscar G. Brockett Center Excellence Fund provides financial support for the Brockett Center and its Brockett Scholars program. To make a donation, you may give online (indicate the Brockett Center in your notes), or contact the Department of Theatre and Dance at 512-471-5793.
- Margaret Ann Mitchell
- Jon S. Whitmore
- D. Terry and Sharon Williams
- Michael J. Barnes
- Geradine M. Clark
- P. Lee Devin
- John Fleming
- Gregory J. Poggi
- Cynthia M. SoRelle
- Joan Sullivan-Genthe
- William L. Tribby