Bruce Levitt has been a professor in Cornell University's Department of Performing and Media Arts (formerly the Department of Theatre, Film, and Dance) since 1986. He teaches acting, text analysis, solo performance, and directing. He served as chair of the department from 1986 to 1995, during which time he oversaw the final phases of construction of the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts and, together with the faculty and staff, restructured the academic and production programs of the department.
Levitt has had a distinguished career as a freelance director in New York and regionally and has been involved with the development of dozens of new plays in the United States, Canada, and Europe. His credits include Cornell productions of The Cherry Orchard, The Glass Menagerie, Strider, A Lie of the Mind, Equus, The Three Sisters, Cocoanuts, Beat Box Bard, Hamlet, and the American premier of David Edgar's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Levitt is a former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts Theatre Panel. From 1995 to 2001 he served as the producing artistic director of The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Kansas City, where he directed productions of Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Love's Labour's Lost, Macbeth, King Lear, and Measure for Measure, which won the 1999 Kansas City Drama Desk Award for best direction. Levitt was awarded Cornell's Engaged Scholar Prize, which recognizes a faculty member who inspires others with innovative integration of teaching, learning, and research (read more).
"Teaching is not simply the imparting of knowledge that one has to another who inquires, but rather a collaboration between student and teacher. The inquisitive mind of the student prompts responses from the teacher, and new knowledge is formed because how the student will use what is acquired is unknown. Too, how the teacher will respond to the same quest for knowledge by others in the future is often transformed by each encounter with a student. It is, therefore, what happens in the space 'between' teacher and student that the energy and excitement of learning takes place. It is a continuous journey that enlivens both participants."