Bruce Auerbach

Bruce Auerbach

Professor of Scenic and Lighting Design

Faculty Research Connections Profile

Since 1982, Professor Bruce Auerbach has created stage designs for over 200 regional theatre and university productions for both theatre and dance. Though a versatile designer with broad interests, he’s often drawn to productions that evoke strong displays of emotion – the works of Williams, Miller, and Ibsen, for example. He’s particularly interested in designing for the Shakespeare canon and those of other playwrights whose work provides the opportunity for creating a unique composition on an open palette.

He served as co-editor of the book Practical Projects for Teaching Lighting Design: A Compendium v2, published by the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology, March, 2016.

Some highlights of his design experience include three productions for the nationally-renowned Williamstown Theatre Festival: the world premiere of The Lucky Spot, by Beth Henley, (featuring Dylan Baker, Holly Hunter, Carol Kane, Christine Lahti, and Kurtwood Smith); Golden Boy, directed by Joanne Woodward (featuring Dylan McDermott); and Autumn Elegy (featuring E.G. Marshall). Additional noteworthy projects are fifteen productions for the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, several of which were directed by Artistic Director, Bonnie J. Monte.  Some of his favorites there are the critically-acclaimed productions of A Streetcar Named DesireOthelloThe Tempest, and The Seagull.  Also at the STNJ was the American Premiere of the award-winning musical, Enter the Guardsman (featuring Robert Cuccioli and Dana Reeve). Other professional credits include lighting designs for the Richmond Ballet, the Heritage Repertory Theatre at the University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of Northern Kentucky, University of South Carolina, and Davidson College.

Auerbach designed scenery for the documentary film What Farocki Taught, by Jill Godmilow. It was selected for the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial 2000 in New York City – a commemoration of artists whose works the curators feel reflect the best of what has happened in contemporary art during the previous two years. An award-winning film that appeared in more than eighteen film festivals in cities around the world including, Rotterdam, Athens, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, Palermo, and Hong Kong. This replica of the 1969 film by Harum Farocki, Inextinguishable Fire, focuses on the production of napalm by the Dow Chemical Company.

In addition to numerous scenic and lighting designs at UNC Charlotte, he served for six years as Chair and Artistic Director for the Department of Dance and Theatre. Prior to that, he was the Associate Chair and Director of Theatre for the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame.

Professor Auerbach served as the inaugural Faculty Ombuds at UNC Charlotte and was certified as an Organizational Ombudsman by the International Ombudsman Association. Following ten years of service, he retired as Faculty Ombuds in 2019.

Professor Auerbach holds a B.A. in Speech Communication/Theatre from Auburn University at Montgomery (Alabama) and an M.F.A. in Scene Design form the University of Illinois.

Beginning July 1, 2022, Prof. Auerbach began a three-year term in Phased Retirement.

Click here for Professor Auerbach’s full Curriculum Vitae