DIRECTOR - PRODUCER - SCRIPT CONSULTANT
"Karen Carpenter has directed with flawless timing."
~The New York Times
Love, Loss, and What I Wore, by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron (Premiere), with over 150 of our most celebrated comediennes
Produced by Daryl Roth. Westside Theater, New York; Panasonic Theater, Toronto; Broadway Playhouse, Chicago; National Tour.
Drama Desk Award, Best Unique Theatrical Experience and Broadway World Audience Favorite. Original Cast: Tyne Daly, Rosie O'Donnell, Samantha Bee, Natasha Leone, Katie Finneran. Subsequent casts included Anne Meara, Fran Drescher, Rhea Pearlman, Jane Lynch, Kristin Chenowith, Rita Wilson, Shirley Knight, Loretta Switt, Donna McKechnie, Daisy Eagan, Janeane Garofolo, Caroline Rhea, Dee Hoty, Sabrina LaBeouf, Amanda Setton, Concetta Tomei, Mary Testa, and many others. Now worldwide. For licensing info: DRT Management.
Bulldozer: the Ballad of Robert Moses, book, music and lyrics by Peter Galperin (American Premiere), Off-Broadway, Theater at St. Clements. Starring Constantine Maroulis and Wayne Wilcox.
Mansfield Park, by Jonathan Dove (American Premiere), Indianapolis Opera, after the novel by Jane Austen.
Admit One, by Wendy Yondorf (Premiere), New Jersey Repertory. Michael Alden and Elizabeth Healy, producers. Broadway bound.
Handle With Care by Jason Odell Williams, Westside Theater, NY. Starring Carol Lawrence. A New York Times' Critics Pick.
Produced by Charlotte Cohn, Douglas Denoff et al. Also West Coast Premiere at the Colony Theater, Burbank, CA
Witnessed by the World, by Jane Beal and Ronnie Cohen (Premiere), at 59E59 Theaters, NY. Produced by Douglas Denoff,
WBTW Productions and Culture Project.
Shooting Stars in Jordan, by Sarah Brown (American Premiere), New York International Fringe Festival
The 24 Hour Plays: Countville (a riff on Vivaldi's Fall), by Lauren Yee: Starring Michael Keaton, Festival Del Sole, Napa
Dancing with Rage, by Mary Walsh, (Premiere), Resource Centre for the Arts, Newfoundland, and Toronto
Disposable Me: a fable with songs and pie, by Ann Taylor, (Premiere), Cohen New Works Festival, Austin
Sex, Death and the Beach Baby, by Kim Merrill, (Premiere), Contemporary American Theatre Festival
Stonewall: a Rhapsody of Resistance, book, music and lyrics by David Bates, music director Debra Barsha, choreographer Joe Langworthy. Staged musical workshop with a cast of 19.
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Inge Center, Choreographer Reggie "Tapman" Myers
Wizard of Oz, Surflight Theater, Beach Haven, NJ; choreographer Matt Williams, scenic designer Steven Lee Burright, lighting designer Bejamin Weill, projection designer Matthew Haber
Wallenberg, music by Benjamin Rosenbluth, book and lyrics by Laurence Holzman and Felicia Levinson, music director, Darren Cohen, Doug Evans, producer. Staged musical workshop with a cast of 27.
The 24 Hour Musicals: But That Would Be Wrong, book by Chris Diaz, music and lyrics by Scott Richards:
Starring Michael Winthur, Deidre Lovejoy, at the Grammercy Theater, NY
Spoolie Girl, by composer Rosemary Loar, librettist Robert Atwood, (Premiere), Midtown International
Theater Festival by invitation, after an acclaimed audience reception at Musical Mondays. Best of the Fest.
Giovanni the Fearless: a commedia operetta, by Mira Spektor and Carolyn Balducci, (Premiere), at the Thalia
Theater, NY. Part of the League of Professional Theater Women’s 30 Plays for 30 Years.
Housewives Cantata, by composer Mira Spektor, lyricist June Siegel, York Theater Company and the Triad, NY
Give Me the Simple Life: a cabaret of the great American songbook, with Tyler Kent, for the Swissotel, Beijing, China.
Top of the Heap, by composer Jeffrey Lodin, librettist William Squier, (Premiere) New York Musical Festival, Directors Choice Award
What is the Meaning of This, Lifetime Achievement Tribute to Arthur Kopit, The Inge Festival. Excerpts from
Oh, Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad, Indians, The End of the World, Nine.
Farther off From Heaven, the 100th Birthday Tribute to William Inge, The Inge Festival. Excerpts from Picnic,Come Back, Little Sheba, Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Where's Daddy, The Love Death. Starring Shirley Knight, and Barbara Dana
The Golden Warrior, Lifetime Achievement Tribute to David Henry Hwang , William Inge Theater Festival, Independence, KS:
Excerpts from Chinglish, Flower Drum Song, M. Butterfly, Yellowface, F.O.B., and Dance of the Railroad
Inge Complex, (Premiere) William Inge Festival, 6 of Inge’s late one-acts, never before produced nor published.
William Inge Theatre Center: 11 playwright-in-residence developmental workshops, including: Parhelia, by Arlene Hutton; The Ranters, by Adrienne Thompson (adaptation of a play by Aphra Behn); All That is Solid Melts into Air, by Dominic Orlando; A Sense of Color, by David Scott Hay; Gods of Great Men, by Kuros Charney
N.Y.U., Steinberg Dept. of Dramatic Writing, 11 workshops, M.F.A. playwrights’ thesis plays, including: One Brief Shining Moment by Anne Rumberg; Gulliver’s Travels by Amber Stroud; Remains by Chiara Atik; Real Life Drama by Lori Fischer; The User’s Guide by Sam Libby
Greener Pastures, by Lori Fischer, The Public Theater NY, with Lois Smith, Roberta Maxwell, and Lynn Cohen
ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, The Old Globe
Artistic line producer of 40+ plays and musicals, here is a representative sampling of those I directed:
As You Like It*, Best of 2004, San Diego Magazine, Critic’s Choice, Union Tribune
Two Sisters and a Piano* by Nilo Cruz, Critic’s Choice, Los Angeles Times
Splendour* by Abi Morgan, (American Premiere), Critic’s Choice, Los Angeles Times
Smash* by Jeffrey Hatcher, Patté Award, and Critic’s Choice, Union Tribune
Betrayal* by Harold Pinter, Craig Noel and Patté Awards, and Best Bet, The Reader
Vita and Virginia*, Critics’ Choice, Backstage West, San Diego Magazine, et al
How the Grinch Stole Christmas*(2001-2004), Jack O’Brien, original director
* denotes Critic’s Choice: Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Backstage West, or The Reader
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, National Tours
Les Misérables Cameron Macintosh, producer, Alan Wasser Associates, general manager
The Piano Lesson Carole Shorenstein Hays, producer, Rich Martini Associates, general manager
The Vagina Monologues, Bucks County Playhouse: Starring Andrea McArdle, Lea Delaria, Adriane Lenox
Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harling: Starring Beth Fowler and Kelly Bishop, Paper Mill Playhouse
House of Blue Leaves, by John Guare, Special Faculty-in-Residence, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, Pittsburgh
String of Pearls, by Michele Lowe, (West Coast Premiere), North Coast Repertory, Solana Beach, CA
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, William Inge Festival Foundation.
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: Yale School of Drama, Chair M.F.A. Program in Stage Management, 1991-96
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Boston University, School for the Arts - studies Theater Production, Acting, and Directing, minors in Russian and Greek Literature. Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, 1981. In 2011, Boston University created The Karen Carpenter Award for Excellence in Theater Arts, to be awarded in perpetuity to graduating students of exceptional merit.
REFERENCES: Daniel Sullivan, Jack O’Brien, Donald Margulies, David Henry Hwang, Suzan-Lori Parks, Jeffrey Hatcher, Beth Henley, Mark Bly, Tina Fallon, Lauren Gunderson, Jen Silverman, Chris Akerlind, Michael Yeargan, and Jennifer Tipton.