I write stimulating, challenging, and funny things. I love sketch and parody, and derive my comedy from observation. For example, one sketch from Potty Talk, “Cat-Calling,” follows two pearl-and-cardigan adorned sisters who won't stop hollering at men. It screws with the idea of what's ridiculous and what's acceptable by turning the gender dynamic on its head.
As a director for both stage and film, I shape a cohesive artistic vision for each production. I am drawn to bold strokes of color, character, and humor to bring forward the nuance in a complex story. I love the process-based approach of sketch and improv, allowing actors and collaborators to bring their ideas to the table. My own experience as an actor and comedian gives me tools with which to challenge a cast. In Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, I worked with a script that combined classical theater elements with modern screwball comedy. Hiring and collaborating with Shakespearean actors, I distilled comedy from the essence of Shakespeare through parody and playfulness.
Creative work needs a venue, a publicist, and a champion; as a producer, I get work from the page to the stage. From fashion shows to films, I’ve produced a number of professional events. Team building and creative problem solving are part of my holistic approach.
- *Now in post production!* "Nemesis" is A short comedy film about the relationship between free speech and white privilege, as told by the match-up of two rivals for a single Scrabble game. Written by and starring me and directed by Dawn Jones Redstone, the project is part of Open Signal and Lower Boom's Post Truth project. Read about the project on our Facebook page here and check out a preview in this month's Portland Monthly! Screen shot with Josh Rice to the right.
- Writing new sketches - could Potty Talk season 4 be in the wings?
- Editing my first feature-length screenplay about a mediocre superhero who believes her supportive family is ruining her powers.
Reviews, Praise, and Press
In conjunction with its selection as part of POWFest 2017, "I Love Pus," a sketch from Potty Talk, also got a write up/interview on the filmmaking website "We Are Moving Stories." An excerpt from the interview:
"I made it a comedy patter song because it’s fun, flirty, and palatable. It allowed me to play with real and often very serious issues through the lens that this sh*t is ridiculous, and we need a way to engage with the issues that opens people up. Laughter does so for audiences, and a quirky entertainment piece fosters discussion." We Are Moving Stories - read the full article
- "Assistance" director Brenan Dwyer, a pro improviser herself, finds the natural, off-the-cuff rhythms in the rapid-fire office banter. That's quite an accomplishment because much of the back-and-forth between her cast occurs during muted calls, transfers and "Hold, please." Lee Williams, the Oregonian
- "Director Brenan Dwyer takes Headland’s intentions at face value, not as a critique of poison management, but rather as a look into why people work hard when a boss has no investment in them. Dwyer’s directing highlights the the cracks in an inhumane system, where the heart is trying to speak." Christa Morletti McIntyre, Oregon Arts Watch
- "The script is often bitter, often biting, and occasionally just chaos (people talking over one another on call after call after call). Theatre Vertigo's production, directed by Brenan Dwyer, makes the most of it, bringing out both the funny and the sad parts in relatively equal measure." Krista Garver, BroadwayWorld
- "While the characters are miserable, the audience can’t be, and there are enough jokes and moments of human connection in Headland’s script, effectively teased out by director Brenan Dwyer, to keep things interesting." Megan Burbank, The Portland Mercury
- Read Artslandia's article about serial theater at Action/Adventure, featuring an interview with Brenan about No Man's Land.
- "You'll find a lot to like in No Man's Land, starting with the writing: Brenan Dwyer, Leon Anderson, and Sara Jean Accuardi have imbued the stock tale of the Catholic all girls' high school misadventures of a would-be adolescent anthropologist (Zoë Rudman) with absurd humor and Angela Chase-adjacent quests for teenage identity....No Man's Land is a show I would watch." -Megan Burbank, Portland Mercury on No Man's Land
- "the women of Goodnight Desdemona—all local actors—absolutely kill it under the direction of Dwyer, who's just now emerging as a promising director on Portland's theater scene" - Megan Burbank, Portland Mercury on Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet
- BroadwayWorld on Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet