Actor, Associate Professor of Theater, Daemen College
Since moving to Buffalo from NYC in 2003, Brandjes has performed or directed in all the major Buffalo-area theaters, including Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Irish Classical Theatre, the Kavinoky Theatre, Torn Space Theater, New Phoenix on the Park, the Subversive Theater Collective, and Musical Fare. A member of Actor’s Equity Association since 1993, Brandjes has performed extensively in the regional theater as well as in several professional ensembles, including as a company member at LORT C Theater StageWest in Massachusetts for three years before leaving to be a founding member of the Blue Hill Performance Ensemble in the Berkshires. Brandjes is the founder and Artistic Director of the Buffalo Soundpainting Ensemble, a collaborative ensemble that conducts performance experiments with non-linear narrative, ensemble scripting and its relationship to improvisation.
He has been a member of the Walter Thompson Orchestra since 1998, when he was introduced to the Soundpainting language through his work with the Irondale Ensemble Project, an off-Broadway ensemble that focuses on improvisation and political theater. While an ensemble member, he was the lead artist on several Empire State Partnership for the Arts projects, including literacy initiatives at Bellevue Hospital resident school, Boystown, TAPCO (Theater Arts Production Company) School in the Bronx and various NYC public schools.
Prior to his tenure at Daemen, he taught the Suzuki Method of Actor Training at University of Massachusetts, Hampshire College and Brandeis University. He was then a full-time adjunct professor of Improvisation at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Brandjes recently designed and received approval from NYS to initiate a new Bachelor of Science program in Applied Theater at Daemen. This is currently the only program in Western New York specifically designed to train students to use theater as an enrichment tool for community-based endeavors including education, social activism and citizenship. The mission is to create “citizen artists” who are capable of using drama and performance to create community, enrich global citizenship in which art and performance are inevitable components, and to empower communities by giving them the tools to create their own solutions to identified social problems.