Music Associate Professor of Music and Music Education
William Wesbrooks, a native of southern New Mexico, has made his home in New York City for the past thirty-five years pursuing a career as a stage director, playwright, and teacher.
Off-Broadway directing credits include the musical revue THE WATER COOLERS and the critically acclaimed TALLULAH HALLELUJAH! written by and starring Tovah Feldshuh and named by USA Today as one of the "ten best productions of 2000".
Other directing credits include MY FAIR LADY starring Gary Beach and Maureen Brennan, MY ONE AND ONLY starring Jodi Benson and Hinton Battle, THE SOUND OF MUSIC starring Mark Jacoby, PETER PAN starring Judy Blazer, GYPSY starring Dolores Gray, and SHENANDOAH starring John Raitt. He staged the musical numbers for Sarah Miles' one-woman autobiographical musical, SHEBA, and has directed national tours of BRIGADOON, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, THE KING AND I, MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, MY ONE AND ONLY, and WEST SIDE STORY. His regional directing credits include THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, GYPSY, A CHORUS LINE, I LOVE MY WIFE, EVITA, ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, PRIVATE LIVES, THE MIKADO, THE SECRET GARDEN, and A WONDERFUL LIFE. Both THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and A WONDERFUL LIFE were awarded "best musical" and "best director" awards by the Times-Dispatch of Richmond, Virginia, and his production of GYPSY starring Crista Moore in the title role was named one of Washington, D.C.'s “ten best productions of 1982".
As a playwright Mr. Wesbrooks has been awarded a CAPS Fellowship and a Ludwig Vogelstein Grant for BEULAH LAND as well as a development grant from the Pilgrim Project. With composer Ronald Strauss he co-wrote the libretto for BARBARY KEEP, a ballad opera that received a 1994 development grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and was produced in the spring of 2001 as part of NYU's new works development project. In collaboration with Maury Yeston he wrote the book for HISTORY LOVES COMPANY and directed that show's world premiere in Chicago.
He began teaching at New York University in the spring of 1999, and he was asked in the summer of 2001 to join the full-time faculty as the director of the Steinhardt School's Program in Vocal Performance. His NYU productions include THE MAN OF LA MANCHA, CAROUSEL, FIORELLO!, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, CANDIDE, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, RAGTIME, THE MERRY WIDOW, STREET SCENE, HANSEL AND GRETEL, THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, INTO THE WOODS, 110 IN THE SHADE, HANDS ACROSS THE SEA, JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS, and the Alan Menken/Tim Rice oratorio KING DAVID.
His book on acting for singers – Dramatic Circumstances: On Singing, Acting, and Living Inside the Stories We Tell – was recently published and is available at: www.dramaticcircumstances.com.
Mr. Wesbrooks is a member of The Dramatists Guild, The Society of Directors and Choreographers, and Actors Equity Association.