New Faculty 2020-2021

The Tisch School of the Arts, one of the leading arts schools in the country, provides rigorous conservatory training in theater and film in the context of a great research university. Its faculty consists of award-winning artists and performers, and innovative teachers and scholars of dance, music, drama, design, film and television, new media, and art and public policy.

Full-Time Continuing Contract Faculty

Zoya Baker

Zoya Baker

Zoya Baker is Associate Arts Professor of Animation in the department of Undergraduate Film & Television. She holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College and a BFA in Film & Television Production from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Baker is an animator and filmmaker with over 15 years of media production experience, including network television series, independent films, commercials, and installations. As an animator, Baker works on network television shows including Disney’s Little Einsteins and Nickelodeon’s Team Umizoomi, as well as commercial campaigns for clients including Google, Coke, and Microsoft. She currently serves as Chair of the Animation Caucus for the University Film and Video Association and in 2018 her essay, "Film Methodology as Pedagogy," received the UFVA Paper Prize. Baker recently received grants from New York Foundation for the Arts and ASIFA-Hollywood for her current projects, which explore perception of nature and draw on her interests in plant ecology and socially engaged art practice. Her documentary Cranberry Lake exhibited internationally and received a National Board of Review grant award. Her animated short Reunited received a Warner Bros Film Production Award and screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Prior to her current appointment, Baker served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, Adjunct Instructor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Individualized Instructor at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Brandon Dirden

Brandon Dirden

Brandon J. Dirden is Associate Arts Professor of Graduate Acting. He received his B.A. in Mathematics and Drama from Morehouse College and his MFA in Acting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dirden is an actor and director perhaps best known for portraying Martin Luther King Jr. in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan's All The Way opposite Bryan Cranston's Lyndon B. Johnson. In 2017, he starred in the Broadway premier of August Wilson’s Tony Award-winning Jitney, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. He made his directorial debut with August Wilson's Seven Guitars at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey to great acclaim in 2016 and in 2018 he returned to Two River to direct Wilson’s King Hedley II to a sold-out run. Brandon played Agent Dennis Aderholt on FX's hit series The Americans, and other television appearances include Baz Lehrman’s The Get Down for Netflix, FX’s Mrs. America, and ABC’s new hit drama For Life. His work onstage has been recognized with a Theater World Award, OBIE award, AUDELCO award, Drama League distinction, Lucille Lortel nomination and others.

Prior to joining NYU, Dirden has been a guest lecturer at Black Arts Institute, Spelman College, Yale University, Princeton University, Brown University, Columbia University, and Juilliard.

Doug Paulson

Doug Paulson

Doug Paulson is Assistant Arts Professor in Voice and Speech at the Experimental Theater Wing. He earned his BFA in Drama at NYU’s Playwrights Horizons Theater School, and his M.A. with Distinction in Voice Studies from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (RCSSD) in London, England.
 
Paulson is an actor, director, writer, singer, musician, dialect/speech/voice coach, and educator. His work is focused on communication at its core; to enable and empower the individual to express with confidence, clarity, intention, specificity, and skill. He’s coached numerous productions in NYC and abroad for RADA, RCSSD, Atlantic Theater Co., Playwrights Horizons, NYSAF, and LaMama, while also working as a corporate coach for New York Speech Coaching. Paulson has been a soloist for the London Gay Men’s Chorus and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and has worked as an actor on stage and film in NYC, regionally, and abroad. He is especially proud of the years he spent as a member of the acting company at The Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, collaborating on the development of new plays.
 
Prior to this appointment, Paulson was the Head of Voice & Speech at Playwrights Horizons Theater School, where he’s been teaching since 2005. He has also served on the faculties of CUNY Brooklyn College, Vassar College, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and RCSSD.

Sarah Rothberg

Sarah Rothberg

Sarah Rothberg is Assistant Arts Professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) / Interactive Media Arts (IMA). Rothberg holds a B.A. with High Honors in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from UC Berkeley, and an MPS from ITP.

Rothberg is an artist who works with interactive media, most often with immersive experiences like virtual/augmented reality and computer mediated performance. Rothberg's artwork has been shown internationally in art/tech spaces ranging from Tribeca to bitforms gallery, CES, and Sotheby's. Rothberg's work engages with embodiment, the impact of new media, and the relationship between the personal and complex systems.

Prior to this appointment, Rothberg was a research fellow at ITP, an adjunct professor at ITP/IMA and the New School, co-developed and led an XR masterclass at the Onassis STEGI Foundation, and designed and facilitated speculative futures workshops at various colleges and institutions nationwide. Rothberg is the featured artist and co-creator for Apple's [AR]t lab, which runs at Apple stores internationally, has been a NEW INC member with Rhizome/Bell Lab's Experiments with Art and Technology track, and an artist-in-residence with Harvestwoks, Mana Contemporary, and Adobe.

Lauren Whitehead

Lauren Whitehead

Lauren Whitehead is Assistant Arts Professor of Drama. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from Columbia University in the City of New York and a B.A. in Sociology from The University of Michigan.

Whitehead is a writer, performer, and dramaturg. She writes in several forms including poetry, nonfiction, adaptations, and drama. She adapted Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award-winning memoir, Between the World and Me, for staging at the Apollo Theater and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (Dir. Kamilah Forbes).  Her most recent performances include originating the lead role of “Un/Sung” in the opera We Shall Not Be Moved, which she performed at the Wilma Theater, the Apollo Theater, and at the Stadsschouwburg Theater in Amsterdam (Dir. Bill T. Jones). Whitehead is a Sundance Theater Lab Fellow, a Sundance Talent Forum Fellow and she has worked as a dramaturg at Hedgebrook and at The Denver Center for Performing Arts. Her writings have been published in Apogee Journal, Winter Tangerine, and in selected anthologies including Break Beat Poets, Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic.

Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Whitehead was a part-time lecturer at The New School for Drama and she was a Teaching Fellow in the Undergraduate Writing Program at Columbia University. She has taught creative writing workshops all around the country for the past 15 years.