Nancy Steele Brokaw
Writer in Bloomington, Illinois
Nancy Steele Brokaw is playwright/journalist/writer.
Brokaw has had 12 innovative children’s operas produced by Prairie Fire Theatre/Illinois Wesleyan University. Among them are The Sky Is Falling And I’m Not Even Kidding!, Who Stole B-Flat?and Mozart's Day Out. They have toured to tens of thousands of Illinois school children over the last eight years and work has begun for the 2023 show. University of California-Merced also presents her operas yearly to thousands of grade school students and will do so again in 2023.
Brokaw has been resident playwright for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival for many years and will be writing a Theatre for Young Audiences show for the 2023 season. Past shows include A Summer's Winter Taleand Much Ado About Quite A Lot, among others.
In May, 2014, Fort Worth Opera Frontiers showcased Fertile Ground, an original opera for which she wrote the libretto, a collaboration with composer David Vayo. Opera Plus called it "thorough and complex" and said it "immediately portrayed a gripping story."
Brokaw wrote the librettoCleopatra and the Plastic Surgeon, which was performed at Illinois State University in 2016 and University of Toronto in 2017 with music by Austrian composer Nancy Van de Vate. Danielle Fisher composed a new score and it premiered in 2018 at University of North Texas and was presented at several universities.
Brokaw is a longtime contributor to The Pantagraph and Illinois Wesleyan Magazine, as well as the author of the award winning middle-grade novel Leaving Emma, (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin).
The McLean County Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission hired Brokaw to co-authorLincoln’s in Town!
For 20 years, Brokaw has been resident playwright for Holiday Spectacular, Inc., writing three or more shows a year.
She wrote grade school adaptations of Mozart's Magic Flute and Marriage of Figaro, and Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel for Illinois Wesleyan University productions.
She serves on the Board of Directors of IWU’s Associates Board, the Promise Council (removing barriers to learning in local schools), the Stevenson Lecture Series and is a member of Normal Rotary Club. She was recently a drummer for an older adult rock band.
Brokaw lives in Bloomington, Illinois.