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ABOUT NPTC — ARTISTIC DIRECTOR


MELODY BROOKS was an actor for more than 35 years, and has been producing and directing in New York Citysince 1983. In 1991, Ms. Brooks formed the New Perspectives Theatre Company and serves as the company's Artistic Director and CEO. Its mission and goals are a result of her long experience working in the Off- and Off-Off Broadway arenas.

Ms. Brooks was formerly a program officer with the Academy for Educational Development, previously worked at Bank Street College of Education, and was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre at Long Island University/Brooklyn for ten years. The work of NPTC merges her artistic and educational backgrounds.

She is on the Board of Dirctors of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and a member of the  LPTW Heritage Program and Co-chair of the Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award for 2017. Brooks co-founded 50/50 in 2020: Parity for Women Theatre Artists in 2009 and continues to be involved in various initiatives that have grown out of that movement and which focus on reclaiming the heritage of womn in theatre. She has partnered with Mari Lyn Henry on STAGE STRUCK, serving as director and dramaturg for performances featuring actresses from the past, written using their own words. In 2015 she received the Spirit of Hope Award from Esperanza Theatre Company for her 25-year track record of supporting women theatre artists.

For NPTC, Brooks oversees the artistic output of the company, and creates and directs new projects that address its mission. She directs the Women’s Work LAB, responsible for the development of short and full-length plays by 12 -15 members per year; she also serves as Executive Producer for NPTC’s Voices From the Edge Festival, which has showcased more than 78 new works by African-American writers since its creation in 1997. Most recently Brooks became co-producer of ON HER SHOULDERS, a program of staged readings of plays by women throughout history produced in association with the New School for Drama.

As part of these programs she has developed and directed a number original scripts notably MOTHER OF GOD! by Michele Miller, a Princess Grace Foundation Finalist that revisits the story of Mary from a Jewish (and irreverant perspective); Exhibit #9 by Tracey Scott Wilson, (co-directed with Celia Braxton) 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); and Anatomy of a Love Affair by Deirdre Hollman, an intense look at an interracial relationship ending afer eight years (optioned by Essence Entertainment).

Other developmental directing credits for NPTC include Everyday Somewhere Here: Letters From Palestine and Israel, a multi-media piece created in collaboration with Benji Rgoers and based on his travels to the region, Finding Home by Keline Adams, which was presented as a work-in-progress in NPTC's Voices From the Edge Festival, starring Marcella Lowery (of The Cosby Show); Untitled and Unfinished, written and performed by Yolanda Wilkinson and presented at NPTC and the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival; Touchscape, written and performed by James Scruggs for the Queer at HERE Festival and Voices From the Edge; and Chewin' da Fat on Life, a work-in-progress by OBIE-Award winner Stephanie Berry.

Melody has also directed many of NPTC's innovative classic productions, including a multi-media Hamlet based on research proposing that the script parallels the Book of Revelation. With Vebeke Lunn Fazakerley 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. The production was performed at Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Washington Square Methodist Church and NPTC. She has also directed Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Miss Julie, and the NY premiere of Vaclev Havel's The Increased Diffifulty of Concentration. In addition, she served as dramaturge and co-director on NPTC's OOBR award-winning production of The Taming of the Shrew.

She takes a lead role in the creation and implementation of NPTC's Youth & Community Programs repertoire, developing the Shakespeare Made Simple program and co-creating World Voices with award-winning playwright Rick Balian. She most recently lead a 4-year residency at School for Classics in East New York, Brooklyn, a high school which NPTC hepled create in 2009. With Meganne George she developed an academically rigorous four-year theatre curriculum and presented annual student Shakespeare productions at the school.

Melody began acting in an Upstate New York theatre company when she was a child, touring playgrounds, schools and the New York State 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, received critical acclaim opposite Austin Pendleton in NPTC's production of Richard III in the role of Queen Elizabeth, and played Lady Macbeth among other roles for NPTC's mainstage. In 1991, she performed in a production of Oedipus, Rex at Epidaurus, Greece, which marked the first ever appearance of American actors in the history of the 2,500-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.

Previously Melody served as an Associate Producer for the NY Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) coordinating seminars and master classes in NYMF '06. She works periodically as a non-profit management consultant (including for the NYS Council on the Arts); and teaches/coaches upon request.