Brigham Young University–Hawaii Academic Vice President Isaiah Walker announced hiring Bruce Duerden as a visiting professor in the Theatre Program for the 2023-2024 academic year.
"We are grateful to have Professor Duerden with us while we run a search for a full-time faculty member in theater," said Walker. "Professor Duerden has many years of theater expertise. This year will be a great opportunity for our students participating in the Theatre Program to study with him." Plans are underway to produce "Cyrano de Bergerac" during the fall 2023 semester and "Once on This Island" during the winter 2024 semester. More information for this season of BYUH stage productions will be announced this fall, including show dates and auditions.
“I am excited to continue the work that has been done and add my experience and knowledge to the great students at BYUH,” said Professor Duerden. He will be teaching acting, stage craft, and directing while producing the two productions.
Duerden is no stranger to BYU–Hawaii and the Theatre Program. He visited BYU–Hawaii several times over the past twenty years to participate in BYUH productions, doing creative scene design, lighting design, and stage management work. He was in the production crew at BYU–Hawaii for shows such as "Twelfth Night the Musical" in 2020, "Pirates of Penzance" in 2019, "Oklahoma" in 2011, and "The Secret Garden" in 2004, among many others.
Duerden has a Master of Fine Arts in theatre technology and a Bachelor of Arts in lighting and scenic design, each from Brigham Young University in Provo. While studying and working at BYU, he traveled as a designer and technician on many foreign and domestic tours to a total of 32 countries and all 50 states. He also worked for the Osmond studios and on projects for Paramount Pictures.
Duerden is currently the head of the design program and professor at Utah State University, from which he will be taking a sabbatical leave. Duerden has been a professor and lighting/technical director for Utah State Theater for over fifteen years. He served as the interim theatre department head at USU. Other educational positions Duerden has held include assistant professor of lighting design and technical direction at Texas A&M University as well as instructor/administrative staff and technical director for the Department of Music at Brigham Young University.
Duerden has worked on and supervised hundreds of productions over the years. He has been a lighting designer at Tuachan, master carpenter at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, technical director for the Texas Shakespeare Festival, and lighting technician at Sundance Summer Theatre. Dureden opened the Pink Garter Theatre in Jackson, Wyoming as a producer, production manager, and designer for 108 performances. He has also done technical direction and lighting design for several productions at the Aida Army Community Theatre in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Duerden has received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Medallion of Excellence twice and the Robert E. Struthers Award for Outstanding Achievement in Technical Production.
Duerden grew up in the foothills of Salt Lake City and credits his introduction to art and theatre to his father who was a draftsman and fine artist. Bruce Duerden is the brother of Darren Duerden, program lead and professor of music here at BYU–Hawaii.