Worked extensively on Broadway and Off Broadway, as well as touring, Regional theatre, and Industrial productions. A Long Island, New York, native, Brian graduated from SUNY Purchase with a degree in Lighting Design from the Department of Design/Technology of the Division of Theatre Arts & Film. After graduation Brian spent a decade honing his craft with Off Broadway and other productions, and also developed a reputation as a teacher of design. He began teaching at Purchase as a visiting professor in 1986. He continued to balance his teaching career while breaking into Broadway in 1994 with What’s Wrong With This Picture? Brian started to achieve notice with the Terrence McNally play Love! Valour! Compassion! in 1995. His success continued through the 1990s, and eventually culminated with a Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in 2002 for the revival of Into the Woods. He won again in 2005 for The Pillowman, in 2007 for The Coast of Utopia, sharing the award with Kenneth Posner and Natasha Katz (The three also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for Utopia’.’) Brian won the Tony in 2009 for his lighting of the play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”.
In fall of 2009 season, Brian is designed the revival of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound and David Mamet’s new play Race. In the 2010 season he designed A Behanding in Spokane, Fences, Armida at The Metropolitan Opera, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. In 2011 he has designed The Book of Mormon, Le Compte Ory at The Metropolitan Opera and The House of Blue Leaves. He is proud to have four former students designing on Broadway this season, Kenneth Posner, Jeff Croiter, Jason Lyons, and Jennifer Schriever.
Brian accepted a position as an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, starting in the fall of 2009.