Brendan Patrick Hughes is a writer-director, producer, podcast creator, performance artist, professor and soccer referee who works in feature film, documentary, fiction and non-fiction podcasts, theater, opera and comedy pop-ups. Recent projects include the narrative feature film Dindin, which will be released in 2024 by Good Deed Entertainment, The Metalldetektor, a half-hour documentary special now airing on PBS and streaming on the PBS App, a gig directing the second season of the fantasy/science fiction podcast Bridgewater (starring Misha Collins), and producing and hosting the non-fiction podcast Divine Intervention, about his parents’ love story, the pilot of which premiered in the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, and will be released in 2024 by Wonder Media Network. He is a graduate of the directing program at the Yale School of Drama.
His short film Chronicles Simpkins won the Audience Award and Best Comedy Short at the San Jose Short Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize at the Woods Hole Film Festival. His documentary The Metalldetektor recently won the Grand Jury Prize for the Soldiers and Sacrifice Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
He began his career in the theater, where he served in leadership positions such as Producing Artistic Director and Founder of the Theatre Cooperative in Boston, Artistic Director of the legendary Yale Cabaret, and Impresario of the Harbor Stage at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. As a freelance director, he has directed roughly one hundred plays across the country, from Off-Off Broadway to Los Angeles.
Brendan teaches acting at Occidental College and Santa Monica College. He has served as a guest instructor at Harvard, Yale, Pace University, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He has also led Apple employees in several Authenticity on Camera trainings.
As a performance artist, Brendan likes to give fake TED talks on giant themes like ‘irony’ and ‘mediocrity,’ and released an alt-comedy concert album entitled The Pizzicato Effect, recorded at Ars Nova in New York City. His follow-up, Mediocrity: A Sophomore Effort, also recorded in New York in 2018, will perpetually be released ‘next year.’
Brendan grew up on a commune outside Boston founded by the inventor of rubber gloves, and as a toddler would nap in the sun on the stomach of a lazy bull named Stanley. He moonlights as an editor and animator, and was a motion graphics producer for a major network, as well as a Creative Director for Hairpin, an ad agency for the public sector. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York with his wife and collaborator Emily Topper, a documentary cinematographer, their son Oscar, a soccer enthusiast, and their border collie Walt, a fetchaholic.
(Photo © Stuart Locklear)