Brooks Appelbaum

Brooks has been writing theater reviews since her undergraduate days, and her critical writings have appeared in The New Yorker, the New Haven Magazine, and elsewhere. She now writes a twice-monthly column reviewing film and theater for the Shoreline Times.

Brooks’ theater criticism is informed by a lifetime of acting and directing experience. Prior to moving to Connecticut, she and her husband, Dennis Bell, co-founded their own theater company, AppleBell Productions. Their 70-seat house sold out almost every performance, and the business ran in the black every year for three years, until they left for the East Coast.

Brooks studied directing with Arno Selco, then head of the theatre department at Ithaca College, and with Resident Director Evan Yionoulis in Yale’s Summer Directing Program, among others. In academic, amateur, and professional settings, Brooks has directed over twenty plays by such writers as Sam Shepard, Horton Foote, Steven Dietz, A.R. Gurney, Lanford Wilson, and Thornton Wilder.

An actress for many years, Brooks’ favorite roles include Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Carol in Oleanna, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, and Nan/Lina in Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain.

Brooks has taught acting to actors in a wide range of settings, including adult classes, high school theater departments, and AppleBell Productions’ acting program. At Quinnipiac University, Brooks teaches a writing course that uses theater scripts and professional theater productions as central texts.

Brooks graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and earned her Ph.D. in English Literature from Cornell.

She can be reached at