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Bio

Michael is 

a passionate

storyteller. As an

actor, writer, director 

and producer, Michael's work

ranges from film and television to

live theater, music, and the multidisciplinary.

Michael celebrates the full range of human experience in his work, ranging from projects you might describe as pure entertainment, to stories with characters who are deeply introspective, exploring both our personal and collective yearning for meaning and connection in this new millennium world. On the never ending journey to integrate these elements in all of his work, Michael's projects have received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, The Here Arts Center, the Brooklyn Community Foundation and others.

Michael is curently Lead Producer of a new immersive musical which he conceived, The Ironworkers' Hayride, with book and lyrics by Pulitzer Award winner Robert Olen Butler, and music and additional lyrics by 6-time Emmy award winner Lanny Meyers.

 

As an actor, in 2023 Michael created the tour-de-force comedic role of Bruno, the faithful seeing-eye dog to a criminal mastermind in the world premiere of the darkly comedic solo play CORRUPTION by acclaimed playwright Arthur Giron at the Chain Theatre in NYC, directed by Trisha Jeffrey.("Michael Simon Hall and Corruption a first rate afternoon of theater." Times Square Chronicles) He also workshopped his solo show A GAP IN THE SKY with a grant from IndieSpace, where Michael portrays several bewildered middle-aged men from all walks of life, all searching for meaning and connection. He also shot the indie comedy CANOE DIG IT by Sam Dunning. Prior to that he created the tour-de-force role of iconic abstract artist Jackson Pollock in the two-hander drama THE CROOKED HEART by Susan Isla Tepper, adapted from her Pulitzer Award-nominated novel, read at Irish Repertory Theatre NYC.

 

Prior to the SAG strike, Michael was scheduled to appear on Showtime's BILLIONS opposite Paul Giamatti, but due to a breakthrough Covid infection had to bow out. Michael plays the lead role of professor Bradley Gilmore in the psychological thriller WOMEN (2021). Directed by Icelandic filmmaker Anton Sigurdsson, Michael plays a charmingly creepy, brilliant sociologist with a deadly, hidden dark side. Watch trailer here

 

Michael appeared in HBO's Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award-winning I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE opposite Mark Ruffalo, THE DEUCE opposite Maggie Gyllenhaal, Netflix's THE POLITICIAN, and the indie THE DARK END OF THE STREET by Kevin Tran, in between productions of the remarkable new musical drama HENRY BOX BROWN by Mehr Mansuri, Eric Dozier and Frank Sanchez, where Michael plays the powerful role of reformed abolitionist minister James Smith. Originally directed by Tony Award winner Ben Harney, and performing across the US after five-star rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, the property is currently slated for Broadway. 

Michael is currently attached as the lead/host for a new children's TV show in development, POSSIBILITIES' PLACE. His other recent film/TV projects include HOMING IN (BFI London, Champs-élysées, MoMA) by Parker Hill (Cusp - Sundance/Showtime) produced by Lioneyes Pictures - Evan Kelman (Where there is Smoke - Tribeca),  LA FOLIA by Adam Grannick/Filmelodic (Best Experimental Short, Manhattan Film Festival), ASHE '68 by Brad Lichenstein and Janicza Bravo (Sundance, Tribeca), THE LEFTOVERS and THE LIFE AND DEATHS OF ROBERT DURST for HBO. 

A professional entertainer since the age of seventeen, Michael has appeared on stages from LaMama Etc. to New York City Opera, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, in numerous regional productions, Broadway national and international tours, and in two one-man shows seen from coast to coast. Michael created the comedic tour de force role of Milton in  THE IRONWORKERS' HAYRIDE, which he also conceived and produced - a two character musical set in 1910, with music by Emmy Award winner Lanny Meyers and libretto by Pulitzer Award winner Robert Olen Butler, directed by Eric Michael Gillett. Michael played the title role (Stephen Dedalus) in the Centennial Anniversary of PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN and also the role of Thomas MacDonagh in EASTER RISING 1916, both conceived and directed by Olivier Award winner Jim Culleton of Fishamble Theatre Company. He created the lead character of Henry Chisholm for the International IEEE HONORS CEREMONY, portraying a fictional assistant to Thomas Edison, who time travels from 1903 to the present to honor the finest scientific minds from across the globe, including Elon Musk and nanotechnologist Mildred Dresselhaus, known as the "Queen of Carbon Science". Michael was also creative consultant on this project, developing the concept and script, where his co-star was a state-of-the-art humanoid robot. 

 

Michael was Co-founder of Performers at Work Ensemble Theater Company, creating one of the first new play festivals in NYC; a member of the Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse, acting in, writing or directing over 75 new stage works; and Co-chair of the Playwrights Roundtable. 

His diverse plays and performance pieces include the multimedia docudrama 

PIECES OF PAPER - Aspirations of 9/11; THE USUAL SPACE;  OH, VERY YOUNG - based on the music of Cat Stevens, and I WANT TO BE A DANCIN' MAN - A Celebration of Fred Astaire and the Music that Made him Famous - which have been presented at Here Arts Center, the Neighborhood Playhouse, the Joyce Soho, the Irondale Center and others, as well as music venues such as the fabled Roseland and Tatou, and the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Hollywood. Michael's work as a light installation designer include Fashion Week at Bryant Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jay Z's 40/40 Club and Adidas, and was featured in NY Times Sunday Styles. His collaborations include a range of forms including work with minimalist composer and Laureate of the International Tchaikovsky competition Anton Batagov, multiple Emmy Award winning composer and arranger Lanny Meyers, trailblazing cellist Matt Haimovitz, and Pulitzer Award winning author Robert Olen Butler.  

“An artist’s job is to draw attention to the beauty in life,

to allow people to stand back from it and look at it from a different angle.”   

 

 - interview for American Theatre Magazine

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