Rob Ruggiero is a freelance professional director who has directed at numerous regional theaters around the country as well as off-Broadway. He conceived and directed the world premiere musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald entitled ELLA (starring Tina Fabrique). A popular and critical success, Ella has been or will be seen on 22 regional theater stages from 2005-2010. Ella recently won three Kevin Kline Awards, including Outstanding Director of a Musical for the St. Louis Production and the Chicago production won three 2008 Joseph Jefferson Awards including Best Director Revue. Mr. Ruggiero also conceived and directed the musical revue MAKE ME A SONG: THE MUSIC OF WILLIAM FINN, which opened Off-Broadway in 2007 to great reviews. The production received nominations for both the Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Review" and the Outer Critics Circle Award for "Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. In 2008 an original cast recording was released and the London premiere was also produced at the New Players Theater. He made his Off-Broadway debut directing ALL UNDER HEAVEN, his second collaboration with Valerie Harper, which toured regionally and in Florida, and had a critically acclaimed run in Los Angeles. Mr. Ruggiero recently collaborated again with Ms. Harper in Matthew Lombardo s new play LOOPED which continues to be produced nationally, including a recent production in Florida and a production at Arena Stage with a projected Broadway production opening in the fall of 2009. Mr. Ruggiero has received four Kevin Kline Awards, two for Best Direction of a Musical (URINETOWN and ELLA) and two for Best Direction of a Play (TAKE ME OUT and THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED). Upcoming projects include a revival of CAMELOT at Goodspeed Musicals, where he also directed a highly acclaimed production of BIG RIVER as well as a production of 1776, which garnered him his third Connecticut Critic s Circle Award for best direction. Mr. Ruggiero has staged numerous musical productions including William Finn's ELEGIES -- A SONG CYCLE, FALSETTOS, RAGTIME, WEST SIDE STORY, CRAZY FOR YOU, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, THE LAST 5 YEARS, GODSPELL and Howard Crabtree's WHEN PIGS FLY (Boston Premiere). His TheatreWorksUSA production of ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS had an extensive national tour and was seen by thousands of children.