Former Student Spotlight: Ed Wierzbicki

photo credit: Jeff DePascale

Ed is a film and stage director, educator, and Emmy-winning producer who trained at Boston University and Marquette University. His portfolio includes a diverse collection of creative and documentary projects for broadcast television, theatre, and a wide range of industry clients.

A long time contributing producer with Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Ed’s educational, arts, and cultural programs have reached viewers across New England and nationally through American Public Media; including his work as producer and host of the popular Connecticut’s Cultural Treasures series. For six seasons, Ed was the face of the arts on All Things Connecticut, and his feature segments and specials brought viewers inside the creative worlds of international and local artists and performers. His on-camera conversations with legendary cultural figures include Arthur Miller, Horton Foote, Richard Thomas, Estelle Parsons, Gene Wilder, Joanne Woodward, and scores of Connecticut based artists, writers and performers.

Ed’s most recent film work has focused on a timely topic: mental health. For the past six years, Ed has worked closely with trauma therapists and mental health educators at UCONN Health, Duke University, NYU, Bradley Hospital, and others, to create films on trauma and healing. Currently, Ed produces Critical Moments and The Trauma Avengers, two unique film series for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

With a focus on adolescent trauma, these in-depth training films for psychotherapists are conceived and filmed by Ed’s team through a devised theatre/improvisational process. His creative approach is collaborative, and gathers mental health experts, filmmakers, and actors to produce highly informative and dramatic digital storytelling that educates and inspires. Ed’s related digital storytelling include website development and design, and informational films for colleges, cultural organizations, and social service agencies.

Ed’s other Emmy-winning work in television provided him with a platform to bring the creative work of the performing and visual arts communities to Public Broadcasting viewers — both locally and nationally. During the pandemic lock-down period, he spoke at length with many artists and performers about the rising tide of mental health concerns across the globe. Together, they brainstormed on ways to address these challenges by bringing the worlds of artists and healers closer together. The resulting efforts had led to Ed’s newest television project, On Stage/In Session: Shakespeare’s Works on Mental Health produced and directed for PBS.

photo credit: Paul Smith

This is an hour-long special of talented young actors who dive into Shakespeare; sharing their views on how his language and characters can offer us valuable perspectives on today’s mental health challenges. They discuss the power of language, empathy, and reveal their own personal connections to the plays and to this unique project.

photo credit: Paul Smith

Through beautifully produced performances and an insightful round table discussion moderated by Dr. Michael Gomez, a therapist/trauma expert, the actors tackle PTSD, traumatic grief, complex trauma, body based trauma, self-worth and identity.

photo credit: Paul Smith

Ed’s work in the theatre includes acting and directing, including productions at the New York International Fringe Festival, Hartford Stage, Theatre Center Philadelphia, San Jose Repertory, Hartford Children’s Theatre, and California Young People’s Theatre/California Theatre Center. He was nominated by the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for his musical score for The Revenge of the Space Pandas by David Mamet at San Francisco’s Musical Hall and Illustrated Stage Company. He is also founder and Artistic Director of New Zenith Theatre, a Connecticut company devoted to productions for young audiences.

Ed is also a long time educator, acting teacher, and tenured Associate Professor of Theatre & Film. He’s been a faculty member at Central Connecticut State University, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hanover Theatre Conservatory, and Naugatuck Valley Community College where he received the President’s Merit Award for outstanding educator.

Recipient of 2 Emmy Awards and 16 Emmy Nominations with Connecticut Public Television, Ed has also been recognized with the Outstanding Community Partner Award from the Association of Foster and Adoptive Families for his docudrama Saying Goodbye, One More Time. Executive Producer/Journalist of the Emmy winning PBS educational documentary Voices in Conflict, he is also the recipient of several cultural grants which have supported his travels as a visiting arts journalist in Bulgaria, Sweden, and the UK. Ed’s contributing articles and editorials have appeared on, American Theatre, Connecticut Magazine, Boston Globe, and New York Times.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store