the new school's college of performing arts announces new leadership appointments

Stephen Brown-Fried and Gayle Fekete

April 20, 2021, New York - Richard Kessler, Executive Dean for the College of Performing Arts (CoPA) and its three schools (School of Drama, School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and Mannes School of Music) announced today two leadership appointments at the college. Stephen Brown-Fried has been appointed to the role of Vice Dean for Curriculum and Learning and Gayle Fekete has been appointed to the position of Associate Dean for the School of Drama. 

“These two appointments come at a critical time for the College of Performing Arts. We are thrilled to have both Stephen Brown-Fried and Gayle Fekete in these new roles as we focus on the return to in-person instruction, the continued development of a new Master of Music – Performer/Composer program, the launch of a new MFA in Contemporary Theater and Performance, the expansion of CoPA Core Curriculum, and the development of a new CoPA-wide vision and implementation plan for EISJ,” said Richard Kessler, Executive Dean.

Stephen Brown-Fried was most recently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Drama and has been promoted to Vice Dean for Curriculum and Learning, succeeding Dr. Maggie Koozer, who has recently moved to the Provost Office to take on the role of Vice Provost of The New School, overseeing curriculum and learning for the University. Brown-Fried begins his new position effective immediately.

Gayle Fekete is currently a member of the part-time faculty in the School of Drama and Head of Dance and Professor in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona, where she co-created the Dancetheatre option. Fekete will be stepping down from Cal Poly Pomona at the end of this semester and will begin her deanship at CoPA on July 7th, 2021.

“I am absolutely thrilled about these two important appointments, both of them leaders, colleagues, and friends whom I helped recruit and who have already made important contributions to the future of the School of Drama and the College of Performing Arts,” said Pippin Parker, Dean of the School of Drama.

Stephen Brown-Fried
Stephen Brown-Fried is a theatre director based in New York City whose work has been seen at The Public Theater, the National Asian American Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Northern Stage, Sundance Theatre Lab, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, Trinity Shakespeare, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Illinois Shakespeare and at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, as well as at training programs including The Yale School of Drama, NYU/Tisch Graduate Acting, SMU/Meadows School of the Arts, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, The University of Miami, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Drama at The New School’s College of Performing Arts, where he has taught since 2008 and previously served as Head of Directing. From 2016 to 2020, he served as Associate Director of Gingold Theatrical Group, where he oversaw GTG's Speakers' Corner Writers Group and GTG's educational outreach programs.  From 2014 to 2015, he served as the Artistic Associate & Casting Director at the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. He holds a BA in History and Drama from Stanford University and an MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama, where he has also served as a Lecturer in Directing.

Gayle Fekete
Gayle Fekete is the Head of Dance/Professor in the Department of Theatre and New Dance at Cal Poly Pomona, where she co-created the Dancetheatre option. Gayle has been associated with Urban Bush Women NYC as guest artist and consultant on numerous international residencies and summer institutes. She is on the consultant team for Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Centre NYC. Gayle Fekete presents and produces festival and immersive performance projects in the Los Angeles area, and has produced and facilitated numerous CSU Summer Arts Dance intensives. She is a creative consultant/dramaturge for independent performance practice. Fekete is an active voice regionally and has served on numerous grant panels including NET, DCA, and COLA. Currently, she is exploring site specific, interactive media and interdisciplinary performance collaborations. Her interests include dancetheatre, choreography, installation architecture, and performance practice that challenges class, race, culture and identity. She also is an independent producer feketePROJECTS, and presented with foolsFURY Theater, Mechanism Dance Theatre, Rennie Tang/Architect, Opera Del Espacio, FEK-MAC, and The Market Gallery Studio in Los Angeles. She recently presented at Park Avenue Armory NYC. Gayle holds a BFA in Dance and Performance from the University of Montana and an MFA in Dance and Choreography from UCLA. 

The College of Performing Arts at The New School (CoPA) was formed in 2015 and draws together the iconic Mannes School of Music, the legendary School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, and the ground-breaking School of Drama. With each school contributing its unique culture of creative excellence, the College of Performing Arts is a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration, bold experimentation, innovative education, and world-class performances.

The over 1,100 students at CoPA are actors, performers, writers, improvisers, creative technologists, entrepreneurs, composers, arts managers, and multidisciplinary artists who believe in the transformative power of the arts for all people. Students and faculty at CoPA collaborate with colleagues across The New School in a wide array of disciplines, from the visual arts and fashion design, to the social sciences, public policy, advocacy, and more. 

The curriculum at CoPA is dynamic, inclusive, and responsive to the changing arts and culture landscape. New degrees and coursework, like the new graduate degrees for Performer-Composers and Artist Entrepreneurs are designed to challenge highly skilled artists to experiment, innovate, and engage with the past, present, and future of their artforms. New York City’s Greenwich Village provides the backdrop for the College of Performing Arts, which is housed at Arnhold Hall on West 13th Street and the historic Westbeth Artists Community on Bank Street.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Media Contacts:

Will Wilbur,
The New School
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