Main content

Professor David Bassuk is a Fulbright Scholar for 23–24

He’ll spend 2023–2024 in Salzburg, Austria exploring immersive storytelling.

The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced that Professor of Acting David Bassuk has received a Fulbright U.S. Program award.

Bassuk has received a Fulbright Scholar award to spend the 2023–2024 academic year at Fachhochschule (FH) Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria, to focus on a project titled Immersive Storytelling Futures: Theater, Virtual and Alternative Realities.

Read an in-depth exploration of this fascinating project: How To Use Transmedia Storytelling For Real-World Impact on

“The premise for the ARG [augmented reality game] was ‘A Time-Travelling iPhone’. A visitor to Erbil loses their phone and it’s answered in 1974, starting a dialogue about changes to nature and the climate. The game involved political and social history, but also pulled in a parallel environmental history.”

His goals are to integrate the study of immersive theater with technology, address a lack of media literacy regarding Alternative Reality Games (ARGs), and explore the art of immersive theater in Salzburg in the home of Austrian director Max Reinhardt.

Following his work in Salzburg, Bassuk plans to complete a book about the boundaries between performance and media. He will also further his work to inspire students to create audience-centered stories that he believes “can seize the public’s imagination and build meaningful, perhaps even transformational, work that allows people to participate actively in their narratives and societies.”

“I’m proud to welcome Professor Bassuk to the ranks of Fulbright awardees at Purchase College,” says Purchase College President Milagros Peña, a past Fulbright recipient herself.  His work represents the future of interdisciplinary artists and scholars who are drawing important connections between media, technology, storytelling, and the arts. I look forward to following his progress.”

Bassuk arrived at Purchase in 2003 as dean of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film (now Conservatory of Theatre Arts) and returned to teaching full-time in 2007.

As a Fulbright Scholar, Bassuk will share knowledge and foster meaningful connections across communities in Austria. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for forging future partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.

As Fulbright Scholar alumni, their careers are enriched by joining a network of thousands of esteemed scholars, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 62 Nobel Prize laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize recipients, 78 MacArthur Fellows, and thousands of leaders and world-renowned experts in academia and many other fields across the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to forge lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, counter misunderstandings, and help people and nations work together toward common goals.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has enabled more than 390,000 dedicated and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and find solutions to shared international concerns.

The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.

In 2022, Purchase College was named an HSI Leader by the Fulbright Program by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). This designation recognizes the noteworthy engagement that selected Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Purchase College is one of very few undergraduate-focused institutions to receive this status.