JOE BRANCATO was cited by The New York Times as “one of America’s most insightful directors.” His Off-Broadway credits include The Devil’s Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance, and Audelco awards nominee); Tom Dudzick’s Miracle on South Division Street (St. Luke’s Theatre); Fall to Earth and Freed (Audelco Award nominee) at 59E59; Tryst (Outer Critics nomination for Best Play); Cobb (Drama Desk winner) produced by Kevin Spacey in NYC and LA; From Door To Door at the Westside Theatre; One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages; Jeffrey Solomon’s Santa Claus is Coming Out; Two and a Half Jews; My Italy Story; Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Matter of Minutes; Escape from Happiness (starring Marsha Mason), The Big Swing (starring Madeline Kahn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Marisa Tomei) and Dr. Valentine’s Waltz (starring John Turturro, Laura Linney, Gina Gershon, Jane Alexander) at Naked Angels; Hold the Wedding, produced by Joseph Papp.
Regional credits: Cleveland Play House, George Street Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Houston’s Alley Theatre (Sylvia, Stones in His Pockets, Mere Mortals, Tryst), Hartford Stage, Westport Playhouse, Capital Rep, Boston’s New Rep, Hartford Theatreworks, The Cape Playhouse, Passage Theatre, Florida Stage, and Florida Rep.
As founding artistic director of Penguin Rep Theatre, he has directed well over 100 productions there, including premieres by Arthur Laurents, Lanie Robertson, William Mastrosimone, James Sherman, Steven Dietz, Richard Vetere, Allan Knee, and Tom Dudzick. He commissioned and directed the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan, which was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film, Finding Neverland, starring Johnny Depp.
As playwright, he has written the comedy Drop Dead Perfect and the book for the musical Mae West at Club El Fey. Joe was named Best Director by L.A. Scene for Santa Claus is Coming Out, and has received two Rockland County Executive Awards for artistic excellence. His staging of Tryst at Merrimack Repertory Theatre garnered New England’s IRNE Award nominations for Best Director and Best Production.