Stephen Brotebeck is a director and choreographer based out of New York City. I first met him a few years back when he directed “Grey Gardens” at Penn State. After that, I saw the show “Kiss Me Kate” which he directed and choreographed. Outside of State College, Stephen has numerous credits not only behind the scenes but on stage.
On Thursday September 12 Stephen and I met at a cute coffee shop in Hells Kitchen. We only had a little bit of time because we were both heading off to Broadway shows that night. True to form for both of us! Here is a sneak peek into the life of Stephen Brotebeck:
The Playbill Collector (TPC): Did you start as an actor or did you always know you wanted to direct and choreograph?
Stephen Brotebeck (SB): Yes, I grew up acting and went to Western Michigan for my undergrad where I studied musical theater. At the same time, I had always done student projects directing and teaching choreography. Right after I graduated, I went on a cruise ship and traveled the world performing. I also did the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for three years as well as a tour of “Pippin” with the Goodspeed Opera House. After all of that performing, I transitioned to choreography. My thirtieth birthday present to myself was a showcase at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre. I had dancers perform ten songs for my reel.
TPC: How did you decide to go to Penn State for grad school?
SB: Penn State has an amazing MFA for directing in musical theater. It was the perfect transition from being an actor to directing. Honestly, it was the best decision I ever made.
TPC: How did working on “Ghost” happen?
SB: Doing an internship was a component for the MFA program. Susan H. Schulman from Penn State helped me get a directing intern position on the production.
TPC: Tell me about transitioning from that, to working on “Peter and the Starcatcher”.
SB: I finished with “Ghost” on opening night. Then I went to work on a summer show in DC. When I came back I applied for the movement associate and got it.
TPC: How long did you work on the show for?
SB: August to December 2012. This summer I came back to help with the Off-Broadway production as well.
TPC: What happened after that?
SB: I directed my first Off-Off-Broadway play “Greasemonkey”. Next June we are taking the show to Chicago.
TPC: Awesome! What all are you working on right now?
SB: Currently I am wearing a few different hats. I’m teaching one class at CAP21 as well as working on my company, Broadway Bodies Fitness. Also, I’m creating a show for Students Live passport to Broadway. 22 Guatemalan kids will learn the show and perform it.
TPC: What’s something you would love to do?
SB: Direct and choreograph a revival of “Sweet Smell of Success”. I’m all about new work. This summer I worked on a new musical, “Enchanted April“, in DC and would love to make it into a bigger production. Keeping a presence in the Broadway scene is really important to me as well.
To learn more about Stephen and his work, check out his website: http://www.stephenbrotebeck.com/