Rob Berls

Associate Professor of Drama

Contact Information

  • 251-6611
  • 217 Whitesides Hall

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Thursday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Note: and by appointment.

Associate Professor Rob Berls joined the UNCA faculty in 2005. Rob’s interests are multiple and varied. He is a professional scenic, lighting, properties, costume, and sound designer having worked with local theatres including NC Stage, Southern Appalachian Reparatory Theatre, Asheville Community Theatre, and the Diana Wortham youth theatre series, and regional and national theatres including the Summer Circle Theatre, Marshall Civic Theatre, the Livingston Players, the Boarshead Theatre, and the Bowling Green Musical Theatre.

Rob comes from a long line of carpenters and furniture makers and is currently carrying on the tradition of his family by operating a small business in custom furniture and armor manufacture. He is a member of USITT (United States Institute for Theatre Technology) and is currently the vice commissioner for Health and Safety for the Scene Design Commission and is co-leader of the national Tech Olympics competition. He is also the creator and head editor of Theatrical Invention and Innovation; a quarterly journal detailing the inventive spirit and boundless creativity of the modern theatre artist. Rob is an experienced fight choreographer and martial artist with credits including stage and film. He is also a professor within UNCA’s Humanities program and is currently developing a new lecture area in ancient technology and weaponry for Hum 124.


  • A.A. English Colby Community College
  • B.A. Theatre Emporia State University
  • M.A. Theatre History Bowling Green State University
  • M.F.A. Production Design Michigan State University


To provide a safe and educational environment for students to explore and gain experience in academic and practical theatre. The student experience is grounded in traditional craft with inventive and innovative approaches to address the challenges in the present and future. One must always explore the possibilities and be open to alternative ideas. Collaboration is the key to a full and vital education.

Classes Taught

  • Dram 121 Elements I
  • Dram 122 Elements II
  • Dram 244 Theatre History I
  • Dram 245 Theatre History II
  • Dram 220 Scenic Painting
  • Dram 432 Scenic Design
  • Hum 124 The Ancient World
  • Arts 310 Period, Style, and Form
  • Arts 310 Art and the Warrior
  • LISC 179 Art, Combat, and the way of the Warrior

This faculty member teaches in UNC Asheville's Humanities Program.