Christina Ramos and Cameron Clarke in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Photo: Malloree Hill
Fun Home at Vassar College.
With stellar intimacy direction by Brooke M. Haney...
Danny and the Deep Blue Sea transforms from a problem play to an explosive exploration of unexpected grace.
- Classical NYC Reviews
Background and Qualifications
Brooke was one of the first 50 intimacy coordinators included on the SAG/AFTRA registry.
I often get asked the question: "How did you get into this work?”
Content Note: Below includes conversation about non-consent.
A little over 20 years ago, I worked as an actor with a Seattle based organization called Open Door Theater. We did plays in elementary schools aimed and sexual abuse prevention. As part of the play we taught the difference between a good touch, a bad touch and a confusing touch. The characters in they plays learned how to talk about it if someone gave them a confusing touch. I toured with Open Door Theater for a year and it got me thinking, early in my career, about consent, boundaries and how we tell stories around touch.
As my acting career continued, I often played characters with emotionally demanding given circumstances and I began to wonder if there were tools that an actor could use to take them from such a role back to themselves. So, I developed The Actor’s Warm Down.
Meanwhile, as my fascination with the art of telling stories involving intimacy or touch with heightened emotions grew, I decided that every day for a year I would do something to learn about it. I took classes, read books, listened to podcasts, read articles, went to museums and looked at visual art, consulted with sexperts and sex workers and started to create a vocabulary for myself around storytelling and choreography.
Theaters started bringing me in to work with them either around teaching The Actor’s Warm Down as a closure practice or a competency I had with a particular scene they were staging - like a scene requiring someone being tied up, or a scene of non-consent, etc. Because at the time there wasn’t an intimacy industry, I worked as a consultant and often simply got special thanks in the program.
One day, in 2018, a theater that I’d worked with a bunch asked if I would be their Intimacy Director again. Again?! I googled Intimacy Director and discovered that there was now a title for the work I’d been doing. Thrilled that other folks were doing the same thing, I started reaching out to them and creating a community for myself.
Since then, I’ve worked as an Intimacy Choreographer, Coordinator or Consultant at theaters and films in NYC, LA, regionally and in Switzerland. I’ve worked at colleges and universities, taught workshops, and been on panels and symposiums across the United States and in Germany and Italy. And, I've kept up my own training at a variety of intimacy training programs as well as mental health first aid and bystander intervention.
Competencies and Specialties:
Not every intimacy professional is right for every production. We each have our strengths and some of us have specialties or particular areas of cultural competency. Mine are: Queer stories, BDSM/Kink, stories involving non-consent, and stories involving PTSD.
Dead Ringer at Marymount Manhattan College.