Joe Brancato Celebrates 200th Production As A Director
When performances of Michael McKeever's MR. PARKER begin tomorrow (Friday, September 13) at Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, New York, founding artistic director Joe Brancato will celebrate a milestone as a director: his 200th production!
His credits include critically acclaimed productions of McKeever's DANIEL'S HUSBAND and AFTER which transferred to Off Broadway from Penguin Rep, as well as Erasmus Fenn's DROP DEAD PERFECT at Theatre at St. Clements; Angelo Parra's THE DEVIL'S MUSIC: THE LIFE & BLUES OF Bessie Smith (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Off Bway Alliance & Audelco Award nominee), which he also staged at the Montreal Jazz Festival; Tom Dudzick's MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET; TRYST (Outer Critics nomination for Best Play) at the Promenade and at Irish Rep; Lee Blessing's COBB (Drama Desk winner); FROM DOOR TO DOOR at The Westside Theatre; ONE SHOT, ONE KILL at Primary Stages; and ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS starring Marsha Mason at Naked Angels.
As a boy in The Bronx, Brancato began honing his skills, staging shows in the alleyways such as THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS and an ahead-of-its-time CINDERELLA featuring a cross-dressing lead.
In 1977, accompanied by Francine Newman-McCarthy, he opened the creaky door of an 1880s hay barn in Stony Point, N.Y., and months later, Penguin Rep - the company he founded and continues to helm four decades later - was born.
Since that time, Brancato has directed nearly 150 shows at "the barn" and 50-plus productions in New York City - even one in Yiddish for Joseph Papp! - and across the United States and Canada.
His credits include such venerable companies including The Alley, Cleveland Play House, George Street Playhouse, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Seattle Rep, Westport Playhouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
He also commissioned and directed the world premiere of Allan Knee's THE MAN WHO WAS PETER PAN, which was the basis for the film and Broadway musical FINDING NEVERLAND.