Branson Becomes Brody

January 31, 2007
Brody Theater
Megan Morr

For more than three decades, a former mechanical-engineering lab on East Campus served as the drama department's primary venue. Originally named for trustee William H. Branson, Branson Theater hosted acting and directing classes, as well as student-directed productions. In October, the newly renovated space was dedicated and renamed in honor of Theater Studies Council member Harold J. Brody '70.

"Duke needed a place to present small musical and non-musical theater pieces to the university and local community. It needed a little jewel," says Brody, an Atlanta dermatologist whose gift funded the renovation. "That's what I believe the Brody Theater will be." As an undergraduate, Brody and his sister, Betty—who attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—were active members of Duke Players.

"It gives me special pleasure to contribute to a theater that I have known well for over thirty-five years," Brody says.

"With its makeover, with better lobby space and technical support facilities, we hope the Brody Theater will be a center for small theatrical productions, with something going on there every weekend," John Clum, chair of the department of theater studies, said at a dedication ceremony for the renovated building.

The dedication ceremony included master classes, workshops, readings, and musical and performance-art presentations.