Chris Brandt MFA ’72

Photo of Chris BrandtChristopher Hirschmann Brandt MFA ’72 is a theatre artist and poet who has worked with the Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble since shortly after getting his MFA, and now manages the company entering its 50th year.

Why did you choose Sarah Lawrence?

I chose Sarah Lawrence because I had had a girlfriend studying dance there with Bessie Schonberg, so I knew the place a bit, and when I applied, faculty member Wil Leach offered me a Shubert playwriting fellowship.

Did you have a favorite class?

Everything to do with theatre was my favorite - I just loved everything about the Reisinger theatre department.

What was your favorite spot on campus?

Reisinger and the Pub.

You are also a poet. How does your writing feed into your acting, or vice versa?

I admitted to being an actor before I would allow anyone to see my attempts at poetry. Both arts influence one another; in both you must listen, and if the results are to be any good, tell the truth no matter whether the truth is a painful or a glad thing. You have to allow people to look at you and see you with all your imperfections. The difference is that the poem remains on the page, but when the show is over, the acting is gone baby gone.

What is your favorite play to stage (or role to act)?

My favorite play is always the one I'm working on at the moment. (If it's not, it better pay damn well.) Over my whole life there are too many favorites to list. Just at the moment I'm pretty much in love with Andrei Platonov's Fourteen Little Red Huts, which we performed at the beginning of June in his hometown of Voronezh in Russia; before that it was my translation of Camus' Caligula. But by September I'll fall in love again, I hope!