Newberg’s final bow

Brynn Pennell

Professor and Theatre Director Brian Newberg took his final bow on stage at the Kent State Stark Theatre.

With over forty years of theatre experience, Newberg is retiring from teaching and directing after eight years at the Stark campus.

When asked what he’d miss most about teaching, Newberg was quick to answer.

“Students,” he said. “And my colleagues, but it is the students. Hopefully we will stay in touch and there is the miracle we call Facebook.”

A career in theater wasn’t Newberg’s original plan. Newberg started his collegiate career at Temple University majoring in political science.

“If you would have said, ‘Brian you are going to have a career in theater and someday you will be an university professor teaching theatre’, I would have asked, ‘What are you smoking young lady?’” Newberg said. “I wouldn’t have believed it. I was just doing it because it was fun and exhilarating and I was always interested in society and politics and the news, and I felt that theater had something to do with that.”

Newberg not only has directed over 80 productions throughout his life but also has extensive experience as an actor, taking part in over 70 productions.

“I did work on Peter Pan as an assistant director under Glenn Casale and that opened when I was in Los Angeles, I was in grad school,” Newberg said. “She was doing a reprise of that, it had a run in Los Angeles, then it went on a national tour, then eventually went to broadway where it won a Tony. It was my one broadway show, but it was also my one Tony winning show.

Sophomore theater performance major Morgan Brown has known Newberg since her senior year of high school, as he caught her creeping through the theatre doors during her tour of the Stark campus.

“A lot of people around here call him Dad,” Brown said. “I think I am probably one of those people too just because the way he is with his students. It is not so much of a professor kind of relationship, as it is more of a friendship. He cares for students inside of the classroom as well as outside, he’s just always there.”

After finishing the rest of the semester at Kent State Stark, Newberg plans to stick around the area for a little bit. He hopes at some point of his life to move back to the west coast, specifically the San Francisco Bay area, his favorite place.

Brynn Pennell is the regional campuses reporter. Contact her at [email protected].