From Los Angeles to Vermont, and now the Adams Theater
Director of Artistic Initiatives
at The Adams Theater
Carolyn Brooks spent decades in Los Angeles, working in film–among other cool gigs, she produced a documentary on 80’s megastars Duran Duran, spent years working for Disney making educational films, and was Vice Dean of Fellow Affairs at the American Film Institute, her grad-school alma mater.
As Director of Artistic Initiatives for the Adams Theater, she supports Founder and Artistic Director Yina Moore on programming and performances.
Carolyn has always loved theater and film, and after some acting work in the theater world (“I decided I wasn’t very good”) she found her way to a film career through a role in indie director John Sayles’ first movie, Return of the Secaucus Seven. “I got interested in the world of film and moved to LA, but I never gave up my love of theater,” she said.
A graduate of Bennington College, she was longing for New England and moved back to the area in 2016. She’s been involved in the area’s volunteering and arts scene since landing here (coincidentally, she and Ruckus Early Music founder Clay Zeller-Townson serve together on Stamford’s Community Projects Committee).
She had been longing for a theater project to get involved in, and “I was excited about what I was seeing at the Adams Theater,” she said. “Yina was so responsive. Our conversations and collaborations have been terrific.”
During her years in LA, Carolyn also spent 11 years as a high school guidance counselor as she raised her two sons, and moved into her role at the American Film Institute from there.
Having a combined skill set in education and film has given her a deep perspective about serving audiences and finding niches in programming.
“To build a loyal, solid audience, we need to learn what our audience wants to do and do it—but also present work they may not have been exposed to in their lives,” she said. “This community is hungry for a gathering space, and one that is culturally relevant. That’s very exciting to me.”