by A.R. Gurney
Brooke Ciardelli founded and ran Northern Stage-USA for 16 years, US State Senator Bernie Sanders commented, “Brooke has directed one of the most successful rural theater companies in the nation.” In her career, Brooke has directed over 60 productions in association with Northern Stage.
As a director, Brooke has been honored by the New England Theatre Conference’s Moss Hart Awards for Excellence in Theater three times, for All My Sons (2004), Les Misérables (Best Professional Production, 2008) and Hamlet (Best Professional Production and Best Overall Production, 2009). She directed a staged reading of Arthur Miller’s then-unpublished Resurrection Blues with the playwright himself in residence. She has directed Patrick Stewart and Lisa Harrow in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and worked with playwright Sonja Linden on the American Premiere of The Strange Passenger. Brooke has also directed regional premieres of Wit, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Pride’s Crossing and No Orchids For Miss Blandish, as well as a significant number of large-scale musicals.
As a creator, Brooke has adapted a number of classical pieces for the stage. In 2007 her adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, O Myths – “A most delightful and refreshing original theater piece based on this ancient masterpiece” – was the basis of an international exchange between actors from New York, Zimbabwe, Mexico and Romania. Her adaptation The Shrew Tamer was reviewed as “a delicious new comedy,” and Ed Siegel of the Boston Globe wrote, “Ciardelli has fashioned a play of significant historical interest.” She has worked with actors from Zimbabwe, Mexico and England, as well as touring, as co-director, with I Am My Own Wife to Harare, Zimbabwe and Edinburgh, Scotland. Brooke has been a guest lecturer at many venues throughout the world, and she is a Visiting Fellow of University College, Durham University, Durham, England. In the summer of 2010, she co-directed a production of Macbeth by Castle Theatre Company-UK, which toured England and the northeast U.S., including Off-West End and Off-Broadway performances. She is currently working on a stage adaptation of Boccaccio’s Decameron for international production.
In the ’90s, she was highly involved as a producer and director of casting for a number of independent feature films: A Stranger in the Kingdom starring Martin Sheen, The Junior Defenders starring Ally Sheedy, and Wedding Band starring Mo Gaffney and Debbie Gibson. Brooke served as a Producer of Special Projects for Burlington City Arts and worked for a number of years with the Burlington Jazz Festival and the Ben & Jerry’s Festival, as well as providing management services to a number of bands and singer/songwriters, including Jon Fishman’s side project, Spastic.
Brooke received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College, with a concentration in directing; worked at The Williamstown Theater Festival and Broadway general management/producer’s office of Gatchell & Neufeld; and is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.