For 25 years, Mark Brotherton brought heart and humor to the Central Florida theatre community, directing, acting and coaching in more than 90 productions at UCF and its partner organizations. As an associate professor of theatre performance, his heart lay with mentoring the generations of students who were lucky enough to find themselves in his classroom. To them, he was more than a mentor — he was a true friend devoted to nurturing their craft and careers.
“Mark dedicated his life to his students. His passion and curiosity for the craft of acting was matched only by his joy in celebrating his students’ growth,” says Mark Koenig ‘07, an alumnus of the Theatre BFA program. “Through his teaching and through his example, he transformed his students into smarter, better and more capable theatre artists. In Mark, I not only had the architect of my foundation as an actor, I had a true and loving friend.”
“[Mark] saw us for who we were and pushed us to see the potential that he saw in us,” adds Joshua Goodridge ‘17, an alumnus of the Theatre BFA program. “I always thought I was a supporting character, comic relief at best, but [he] gave me the confidence to work hard to bloom into a strong leading man.”
Now, Brotherton’s indelible impact on his students will live on in the form of the Mark Brotherton Memorial Scholarship in Theatre. The new scholarship was established in Brotherton’s memory thanks to the generosity of numerous alumni and faculty donors.
“Mark’s art and personality made the world a richer and kinder place,” says Julia Listengarten, Artistic Director of Theatre UCF. “In celebration of his remarkable contributions to the School of Performing Arts, the Mark Brotherton Memorial Scholarship offers us the opportunity to continue his legacy to inspire and mentor students on their artistic and educational journey.”
The scholarship will be awarded to one junior or senior theatre student up to $1,000 each year. Applicants are encouraged to include a short letter describing how obstacles they have faced shaped their life and how theatre will strengthen their educational and career aspirations.
“Mark has played a momentous part in a lot of our artistic and personal journeys at UCF and beyond,” says Abby Jaros ‘14, an alumna of the Theatre BFA program. “I am thrilled to hear of and fully support his scholarship to continue his legacy, as his teachings and contagious love for the art form are timeless and life-changing.”
“My family and I were moved by the expressions of love for my brother, as well as the support for this scholarship in his memory, which we hope will help students continue in their theatre studies,” adds his sister Donna Brotherton. “To the students who are awarded this scholarship, who will not have known Mark, he would simply tell them what he told so many other students: ‘Just have fun.’”
If you would like to make a gift to support this newly established scholarship, you may give at https://foundation.ucf.edu/givenow. Under “Select Fund,” type “The Mark Brotherton Scholarship Memorial Scholarship in Theatre Fund” in the box.