Brian Swibel

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Brian Swibel is a Chicago born writer, director and producer,.[1] He is the founder of b. swibel presents, a New York and Los Angeles based entertainment company (affiliated with Playing Pretend Productions) that develops and produces diverse forms of media and arts education programming. His numerous projects have garnered him two Tony Award nominations and a Kodak Emerging Filmmakers Award.

Early career[edit]

Mr. Swibel founded his first theatre company in Chicago in 1999, and subsequently began taking short sub-leases on his friends' Bucktown apartments and converting them into black box theaters. Over the next three years, Swibel produced and directed productions of such works as Cowboy Mouth, Daniel MacIvor's House, Orpheus Descending, Uncle Vanya, The Entertainer, Temporary Help, Falconer, and Base (Saratoga International Theater Institute play festival) an original short play conceived under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed Director Anne Bogart.

He founded The Zia Pueblo Theater Project, a children's performance arts program based in New Mexico that brings together Native American students and theater conservatory graduates to create cross-cultural, home-grown "theater that heals".

Swibel co-wrote two critically acclaimed and award-winning short films. Sunset Town, the first film in the series, won multiple national awards and was followed by Fault, which garnered the Kodak Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Cannes Film Festival and international distribution.

Other work in the theater include: Off Broadway: Family Secrets directed by Bob Balaban, Los Angeles: Harold Becker's Production of Athol Fugard's Blood Knot, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan, Curse of the Starving Class, Hamlet (Camelot Group), Good Thing[2] in LA (Hudson Guild).

Acting career[edit]

Swibel's acting credits include the short films Sunset Town and Fault, as well as the full-length motion pictures Undiscovered, Crank and Permanent Vacation.

Recent producing credits[edit]

in 2007, Mr. Swibel, along with his partner Tara Smith, became the youngest lead producers[3] on Broadway with the hit original musical satire Xanadu by Douglas Carter Beane.[4] Xanadu earned the 2008 NY Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Best Book and 4 2008 Tony nominations, including Best Musical.[5] Coinciding with Xanadu, he produced the record-breaking hit web series Cubby Bernstein starring Cynthia Nixon, Nathan Lane and Patti Lupone. Swibel's next endeavor brought Will Ferrell to Broadway, starring in You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush, a solo comedy show which was later broadcast on HBO.

He recently directed a reading of Really Really by Paul Downs Colaizzo at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC[6] and is currently in development of a feature film based on the book 15 to Life, which chronicles Anthony Papa's experience serving time in prison under the Rockefeller drug laws.[7]


Swibel co-created the television drama series Big Dead Place for James Gandolfini who was set to star on the show for HBO before he passed.[8] It was Swibel's first foray into writing for television.


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