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Melody Brooks

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Melody Brooks BIO

MELODY BROOKS (Artistic Director) is an award-winning producer and director working in New York City since 1983. In 1991, she formed the New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC), and serves as the Artistic Director and CEO. Its mission and goals are a result of her long experience working in the Off- and Off-Off Broadway arenas. Brooks was a program officer with the Academy for Educational Development for eight years, previously worked at Bank Street College of Education, and was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at LIU/Brooklyn for 10 years through 2009. NPTC brings together her artistic and educational backgrounds.

Brooks received The Spirit of Hope Award from Speranza Theatre Company in 2015 for her 25-year support and development of women theatre artists. She is a co-founder of 50/50 in 2020: Parity for Women Theatre Artists, for which she shared a "Person of the Year" award in 2009. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the League of Professional Theatre Women where she serves as co-chair of the LPTW Gilder-Coigney International Theatre Award for 2017, and previously served as co-chair for the 2014 Award.. She was an advisor to the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre New Play Lab; has served as an Associate Producer for Education for the NY Musical Theatre Festival; and was an Asst. Professor of Theatre at LIU/Brooklyn from 1999-2009. She has also been a non-profit management consultant for over 25 years, including with the NYS Council on the Arts TAP initiative, and previously served on the Board of Directors of TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited).

She oversees the artistic output of NPTC, and creates and supervises new projects that address its mission. Brooks directs the Women’s Work Project, overseeing the development of short and full-length plays by 12-16 members per year; Women's Work also produces ON HER SHOULDERS, staged readings of plays by women from the past centuries through the 1960s. Brooks is the Executive Producer for NPTC’s Voices From the Edge Festival, which has showcased and supported the work of more than 75 African-American writers and performers since its creation in 1998.

Brooks has developed and directed dozens of original scripts with NPTC, notably EXHIBIT #9 by Tracey Scott Wilson, a satire on the African American Experience (AUDELCO Award);; JIHAD, THE PLAY by Ann Chamberlin, a mystical examination of the influence of gender and religion in war (OOBR Award); ANATOMY OF A LOVE AFFAIR r by Deirdre Hollman, an intense look at an interracial relationship ending after eight years (optioned by Essence Entertainment); EVERYDAY SOMEWHERE HERE: LETTERS FROM PALESTINE AND ISRAEL, a multi-media piece created in collaboration with Benji Rogers and based on his travels to the region; MOTHER OF GOD! by Michele Miller, which reexamines the birth of Christ from an historical (and satirical) perspective (Princess Grace Award Finalist.) Other developmental directing credits include FINDING HOME by Keline Adams, starring Marcella Lowery (of Cosby Show fame), UNTITLED AND UNFINISHED, written and performed by Yolanda Wilkinson and presented at NPTC and the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival; and TOUCHSCAPE, written and performed by James Scruggs for the Queer at HERE Festival.

Brooks has also directed many of NPTC's innovative classic productions. With Vebeke Lunn of Primary Sauces in London, she created a unique production of MACBETH that included an authentic medieval banquet as a central part of the action. She has also directed the NPTC productions of HAMLET, influenced by Linda Kaye Hoff's Hamlet's Choice, which posits that the play parallels the Book of Revelation; ROMEO 7 JULIET uncut and using the performance techniques of the First Folio; a modern dress JULIUS CAESAR with a nod to Murder, Inc.; OTHELLO (cited by Austin Pendleton as the "best production of the play he had ever seen", THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, MISS JULIE, and the NY Premiere of Vaclev Havel's The INCREASED DIFFICULTY OF CONCENTRATION. In addition, she served as co-director and dramaturg on NPTC's OOBR award-winning production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.

With key partners she has supervised the creation and implementation of all NPTC arts-in-education workshops and drama residencies. With Resident Production Designer Meganne George, she created an integrated Theatre Arts curriculum for School for Classics, a public school in East NY (Brooklyn) which NPTC helped to create in 2009. Over four years, a team of teaching artists mentored a growing staff of Theatre teachers and directed/produced an annual student Shakespeare production. In 2014 she designed an after-school component for PS-IS 137 that would use the words of Shakespeare to motivate an investment by 8th graders in their ELA classes. She has created dozens of workshops and training programs for schools, students, emerging and professional artists over the 26-year history of NPTC.

Brooks began acting in an Upstate New York theatre company when she was a child, touring playgrounds, schools and the NYS Fair throughout the summers, and performing in the company's permanent space during the remainder of the year. This early training and exposure to all aspects of theatre production played an important role in her development as a theatre professional and as a person, and forms the basis of her commitment to extending the benefits of theatre as a positive influence to young people and communities in need. Her acting credits are varied and diverse. She has performed extensively with NPTC's Shakespeare Made Simple program, appeared opposite Austin Pendleton in the company's production of RICHARD III in the role of Queen Elizabeth, and played Lady Macbeth among other roles with NPTC. In 1991, she performed in a production of OEDIPUS, REXat Epidaurus, Greece, which marked the first ever appearance of American actors in the history of the 2,400-year-old theatre. She also appeared at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival in TEMPORARY LUCIDITY, a critically acclaimed series of one-acts by playwright Rick Balian, which she co-produced.

Melody Brooks News


SWEET NOISE FESTIVAL Set For This Month

New Perspectives Theatre Company has announced the Sweet Noise Mini Festival of Readings, featuring new works from the Women's Work Full-length LAB. Learn more about the lineup here!
New Perspectives Theatre Company to Host 'Sight Reading Shakespeare' Program

New Perspectives Theatre Company will host Sight Reading Shakespeare Program taught by Melody Brooks. Learn more about the program.
DIDO: The Tragic Queen of Carthage Will Be Performed as Part of the ON HER SHOULDERS Reading Series

Discover the latest reading from the ON HER SHOULDERS program by New Perspectives Theatre Company, introducing plays by women from the past to contemporary audiences. The upcoming feature is DIDO: The Tragic Queen of Carthage.
The League of Professional Theatre Women Reveals Lineup of 'Women On Stage And In The Streets' Panels

The League of Professional Theatre Women has announced 'Women on Stage and In the Streets', a series of Panel Discussions introducing the voices of the international colleagues in the 2023 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award (GCITA) Program. Learn more about the lineup of panels here!
New Perspectives Theatre Company Will Host 15th Annual Women's Work Short Play Festival, SILVER LININGS

New Perspectives Theatre Company has announced Silver Linings, its 15th Annual Women's Work Short Play Festival, running Monday, August 7 through Saturday, August 12, 2023. 
Joanna Pickering's New Play DON'T HARM THE ANIMALS Is Selected To Run At The Chain Theatre Festival

A powerful and shocking new play directed by Melody Brooks, joins the Chain Theatre summer one act festival line up, running June 8th to June 25th.
New Perspectives Theatre Company's May Mini Festival of Staged Readings Kicks off This Weekend

New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) has announced the May Mini Festival of Staged Readings, featuring new works from the Women's Work Full-length LAB.
Full Casting Announced for Banana Boat Productions And New Perspectives Theatre Company Revival Of MAMMA DECEMBA

Full casting has been announced for the Banana Boat Productions and New Perspectives Theatre Company revival of Nigel D. Moffatt's Caribbean drama Mamma Decemba, which will open at The New Perspectives Theatre Studio on Thursday May 4 for a limited run of eight performances.
The League of Professional Theatre Women Will Present the 2023 Rachel Crothers Leadership Award to Anna Deavere Smith

The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) announced that its 2023 Rachel Crothers Leadership Award® will be given to Anna Deavere Smith, multi-award-winning playwright, actress, professor, and author. 
Tickets on Sale For the League of Professional Theatre Women's Theatre Women Awards

 The League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) will present its annual Theatre Women Awards on March 27th from 1 to 3 p.m., at The Green Fig Restaurant, Yotel Hotel, 570 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036.
HOW TO MELT ICE Adds Performance at Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center

Maria-Cristina Fusté, Executive Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre Company, and Melody Brooks, Artistic Director of New Perspectives Theatre Company have  announced an additional performance date for How to Melt ICE, a new play written by Amalia Oliva Rojas and directed by Elena Araoz.
The League of Professional Theatre Women to Present Theatre Women Awards in March

The League of Professional Theatre Women will present its annual Theatre Women Awards on March 27th from 1 to 3 p.m., at a Midtown Manhattan location to be announced. 
Two Innovative Companies Join Forces For NYC Women's Fund Supported Play HOW TO MELT ICE

Maria-Cristina Fusté, Executive Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre Company and Melody Brooks, Artistic Director of New Perspectives Theatre Company are using the combined strengths of their two companies--NPTC has an award-winning history of developing new plays by women and BTC has a team of top-notch designers working on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in Regional theatres--to produce How to Melt ICE, a new play by Amalia Oliva Rojas, running Wednesday, February 1 to Saturday, February 11, 2023. The play is directed by Elena Araoz.
HOW TO MELT ICE Limited Run Premiere to be Presented at the Julia de Burgos Performance and Arts Center This Winter

Boundless Theatre Company and New Perspectives Theatre Company will present a limited run premiere of How to Melt ICE by Amalia Oliva Rojas, running Wednesday, February 1 to Saturday, February 11, 2023.
The Big Funk Company Presents Joanna Pickering's THE ENDGAME in Paris

The Endgame, a new play written by Joanna Pickering, is on the roster for The Big Funk Company (American Theatre in Paris) for their American Friday play reading evening on December 2nd, at Le Pave D’Orsay in Paris. 
Joanna Pickering's BAD VICTIMS Comes to The Courtyard Theatre Next Month, Directed by Erica Gould

Bad Victims, a new play by award-nominated British US-based playwright Joanna Pickering will have its London Exclusive Preview at The Courtyard Theatre in Hoxton, UK. 
League of Professional Theatre Women to Launch 40th Anniversary Season With Event This Month

The League of Professional Theatre Women will launch its 40th Anniversary Season on September 20th, with birthday messages from theatre luminaries: Irene Gandy, Emily Mann, Charlotte Moore, Estelle Parsons, Tonya Pinkins, Theresa Rebeck, Daryl Roth, Susan Stroman, Linda Winer and more.
New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) Presents ENDGAME This August

New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) will present ENDGAME, their 14th Annual Women's Work Short Play Festival, running live Monday, August 8 through Saturday, August 13, 2022. The Festival performs in two programs on an alternating schedule of 4:00pm and 8:00pm, with a combined program on August 13th at 2pm and 5pm.
Judith Light, Luke Kirby & More Join the Cast of the Disney+ OUT OF MY MIND Original Movie

Disney+ announced that acclaimed actress Rosemarie DeWitt (“The Staircase”), and Emmy® Award-winning actors Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) and Judith Light (“American Crime Story”) have been added to the cast of “Out of My Mind,” a Disney+ Original movie adaptation of Sharon Draper’s award-winning novel of the same name.
New Perspectives Celebrates 30 Years

New Perspectives Theatre Company (NPTC) is marking its 30th Anniversary at The People's Forum, 320 West 37th Street, NY, NY 10018 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm on June 25, 2022.

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