Michael is one of the 6 Full-Time Teaching Artists at The Rose. As such, he often finds himself teaching classes and working alongside other members of the Education team to bring educational theatrics to the students in the Omaha/Metro area. Michael is also often seen on and off-stage either acting in or directing both mainstage and First Stage series productions. He is also the Literary Manager and assists with season planning and new script development. He is a busy fellow!
As such, he was gracious enough to take time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about his first experience with theater for us! Here’s what he shared:
“When I was very young, I went to see a puppetry production of Pinocchio, I believe it was at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. I found the colors, movement, sound and storytelling to be fascinating. It was a rather abstract, visually experimental production and remarkably different from the animated film and other family films I had experienced up to that time. Because I was so young and the production was so unusually staged, I found parts of the production rather anxiety-inducing. I think I was only 4 or 5 at the time. But once I turned about 8, maybe 10, I began to see more theater productions with my grandmother. It became a shared tradition between the two of us. She often talked about how she had such an active imagination as a girl and I think she loved to see how a theatrical production brought the pictures in her mind to life right in front of her. She shared that love of storytelling with me, and I gradually learned to appreciate the excitement of live theater as well.”
Michael has worked in theater and learned a lot about what theater can do for others both involved and not directly involved in theater. When we asked him about how theater has changed his life he told us:
“Well, I have spent my career working as a theater artist, so there’s that. But over the years I have enjoyed and been a part of too many amazing productions to count and they have taught me a lot. I have found truly amazing friendships through the collaborative work that theater requires. The process of creating a fully-realized world on the stage is always a fascinating and humbling experience, every time I do it. It’s always a challenge, often a great joy and sometimes indescribably rewarding. But the relationships that come out of those experiences are the most satisfying aspect of my favorite theater experiences. I have learned quite a few things working in theater. Some of those being:
1. my career as a professional theater artist has taught me absolutely vital teamwork, leadership, and collaboration skills which are essential in today’s corporate environment.
2. My career as a professional theater artist has taught me powerful lessons in creative, forward-thinking problem-solving.
3. My career as a professional theater artist has challenged me to develop and empathetic understanding of others.”
Michael has a lot to share about the impact of theater on his life and those he has worked with. It’s amazing to see what a difference theater makes on those who immerse themselves in the art.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, Michael! We hope that everyone can learn so many valuable things from their experiences with theater.