For many years, Brandon Becker worked as a professional actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, and as Bernard Zell’s new Performing Arts Director he’s brought this wealth of experiences with him into the classroom.
Growing up in Fresno, California, as the son of a theater teacher and an English professor, Brandon’s first onstage experience was around age five with a cameo appearance in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. His parents enrolled him in dance around the same time, and as one of only a few boys in the program, received ample performance opportunities. He attended Roosevelt School of the Arts in Fresno where he was exposed to a wide range of performing arts disciplines including plays, musicals and ballet, before proceeding on to the University of Utah’s ballet program.
As a professional dancer, Brandon performed with both the Richmond Ballet in Virginia, where he met his wife, as well as the Aspen/Santa Fe Ballet. The latter of which provided him with his professional debut on the stage of Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. He also worked prolifically in 13 shows over the span of three years as an actor and choreographer at the Swift Creek Mill Theatre outside of Richmond where he won Best Choreographer for his work on the musical Urinetown from the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle.
In the early 2000s, both Brandon and wife returned to school—she went for a degree in physical therapy, while Brandon attended Virginia Commonwealth University for an MFA in theatre pedagogy, which set his career in teaching into motion. After completing his master’s degree Brandon taught both theatre and musical theatre at a school in Virginia, and for the last nine years worked with middle school and high school students at the Denver School of the Arts.
Since arriving at Bernard Zell, Brandon has been thrilled with the enthusiasm of his students, especially the energy of the 7th graders as they dive into the creation and rehearsal of The Velveteen Rabbit, this year’s 7th-grade play. Brandon has also remarked on the incredible support he’s received from his colleagues across the school.
Now with a new performance space and the expertise of a new Performing Arts Director, Brandon and his students are looking forward to elevating the arts at Bernard Zell and creating memorable experiences for years to come.