Michael Gene Sullivan

is an actor, writer, director, blogger, and teacher committed to developing theatre of social and economic justice, of political self-determination, and, of course, musical comedy.

A veteran actor, Michael has acting credits at the Bay Area's three Tony award-winning regional theatres: The American Conservatory Theater , The San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He has also performed at the Denver Center Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, The Marin Theatre Company, Symmetry Theatre, Central Works, Word for Word , Lorraine Hansberry Theater , San Francisco Shakespeare Festival , African-American Shakespeare Company, and Theaterworks, as well performances off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Asian People's Theater Festival (Hong Kong), The Canadian Popular Theatre Festival, the International Outdoor Theatre Festival (Korea), the Israel Theatre Festival, and the Theatre Action Festival (Belgium,) and since 1988 he has been a principal member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe , where he has acted in, directed, and/or directed over twenty-five plays in the US and abroad.

His one person show, DID ANYONE EVER TELL YOU - YOU LOOK LIKE HUEY P. NEWTON? , premiered at the New York Fringe Festival, and went on to award winning and critically acclaimed runs at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco.

A contributing writer on San Francisco Mime Troupe shows since the mid-nineties, in 2000 Michael became Resident Playwright for the Troupe, and has written and co-written some of the biggest hits it the history of the company, including 1600 TRANSYLVANIA AVENUE, MR. SMITH GOES TO OBSCURISTAN (with Josh Kornbluth), VERONIQUE OF THE MOUNTIES, GODFELLAS, RED STATE, (nominated for The San Francisco Bay Area Critic's Circle Award for Best Original Script of 2008,) the Mime Troupe's 50th Anniversary production TOO BIG TO FAIL, (nominated for Best Original Script of 2009), POSIBILIDAD, or DEATH OF THE WORKER, and RIPPLE EFFECT (with Eugenie Chan and Tanya Shaffer)

1984, his critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of George Orwell's classic novel, opened at Los Angeles' Actors' Gang Theatre under the direction of Academy Award winning actor Tim Robbins. Approved by the Orwell Estate, and published by Playscripts, Inc. (the first U.S. published adaptation in 50 years), 1984 has had repeated extended runs in LA, toured to Australia, Europe, Asia, Central and South America, and 40 of the United States. In 2013, in honor of Orwell's service on the Barcelona Front during the Spanish Civil War, Michael worked with acclaimed novelist and playwright Lluis-Anton Baulenas on translating his stage adaptation of 1984 into Catalan, which then premiered at Almeria Teatre in Barcelona, and was published by Edicions de 1984.

Other plays written by Michael include FUGITIVE/SLAVE/ACT, a drama based on a true story from pre-Civil War America, RECIPE, an all-woman political farce, which will have its world premiere October 2014 at Central Works in Berkeley, California (and which in 2012 had an all-star reading at the Will Geer Theater in Los Angeles) and CHRISTMAS CAROL. a modern, worker oriented adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic, which will have its world premiere December, 2014 at the Open Door Theatre, Sheffield, England. His screenplay work includes ANGELS, (written with John Grilley) a drama about the sex trade in post-colonial modern Philippines, and LOVE YOU MADLY, a bio-pic on the life of Duke Ellington, comissioned in part by the Ellington Estate.  

A regular contributor to Huffingtonpost.com, one of the foremost political sites on the web, he also gave the closing speech at the 2008 Theater Bay Area Annual Conference (which was reviewed!)

An accomplished director, Michael has also staged several of SFMT's most popular shows, including 1600 TRANSYLVANIA AVENUE, VERONIQUE, COAST CITY CONFIDENTIAL, RED STATE, FOR THE GREATER GOOD , and co-directed MAKING A KILLING and MR. SMITH GOES TO OBSCURISTAN . Other directing credits include work with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and DEATH AND THE MAIDEN (Mystic Bison Theatre), and the 2012 production of JULIUS CAESAR for the African American Shakespeare Company. Michael was Artistic Director of the Street of Dreams Theater ('80 - '86), Associate Artistic Director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theater ('93 - '94.) From 2008 - 2010 Michael was also the director of San Francisco's all- woman, all-amazing, and all-hilarious CIRCUS FINELLI.

Michael's awards include The San Francisco Chronicle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting, The Bay Guardian's Upstage/Downstage Award and San Francisco Bay Area Drama Critic Circle Solo Performance Award nomination for "DID ANYONE EVER TELL YOU..." , and The Dean Goodman Choice Award for Principal Performer and Drama Critics Circle Award Nomination for his portrayal as Flick in VIOLET at Theatreworks. Michael was awarded the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Award for Best Direction for I AM A MAN at the Harbor Theatre and his re-staging of SFMT's I AIN'T YO UNCLE won several Dramalogue Awards, including Outstanding Direction. In 2007 Michael was awarded the Theatre Bay Area New Works Grant for playwrighting, and in 2013 the CA$H Grant to travel to Spain to work on his 1984.

One of the original teachers for the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival's groundbreaking "Midnight Shakespeare" program for inner-city teens, Michael has been a teacher and director for the California Shakespeare Festival Summer Camp, and has taught workshops in Play Creation, Acting, Melodrama, and Physical Comedy at colleges and universities across the country. He has also worked as a "script doctor" and advisor for emerging playwrights, and has served as Playwright-in-Residence for the Young California Playwright's Project since 2001, teaching at-risk high school students how to create plays on subjects that matter to them, using revolutionary drama to change the world into the place they know it can be.


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