Mel Shapiro is an American theatre director and writer, college professor, and author.
Trained at Carnegie-Mellon University, Shapiro began his professional directing career at the Pittsburgh Playhouse and then as resident director at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.. He was co-producing director at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and has worked as guest director at the Hartford Stage Company, the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, the National Playwright's Conference of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada.
Shapiro's off-Broadway productions include the original staging of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, which won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play in 1971, and Rachel Owen's The Karl Marx Play for the American Place Theatre. London productions include the musicals Two Gentlemen of Verona and Kings and Clowns.
For Broadway, Shapiro co-wrote the book and directed the 1971 musical adaptation of Two Gentlemen of Verona and directed the 1978 revival of Stop the World - I Want to Get Off with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as John Guare's 1979 play Bosoms and Neglect. He has staged works at Lincoln Center, including VÃ¡clav Havel's The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, which won an Obie Award for Best Foreign Play and Shakespeare's Richard III. His relationship with Joseph Papp spanned six years at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. Among his productions there are Guare's Rich and Famous, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, and John Ford Noonan's Older People.