Preparing For Lift Off...

Peter Pan
Director
Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre

Company
Assistant Director
NY Philharmonic

Lost Cause
Director
The Old Vic Theatre

The Drowsy Chaperone
Director/Choreographer
Yale University

The 2nd Annual Tommy Awards
Director, Producer, Choreographer
Skirball Center

Imagine What We Can Do
Creative Director
The American Museum Of Natural History

Tales Of A Misfit
Director, Co-Writer
Laurie Beechman Theatre

Ghoster's Paradise
Filmmaker
Brooklyn, NY

The Adventure Addict
Writer
TheAdventureAddict.com

Julius Caesar
Actor
Lincoln Center Institute

Director

I like surprises. I like wonder and awe. I like the quick breath and the elevated pulse that comes from the new or the unexpected. I think that’s why I enjoy playing with theatrical form – using music and media, blurring the lines between audience and performer, theatre and experience.
I ask myself the same three questions every time I take on a new project.
1. Do I immediately have a visceral reaction to the story and the characters? (Does my heart melt? Is my gut punched? Does my mind expand?)
2. Do I feel like I MUST tell this story? (Right now? With these people? In this place?)


3. Does the prospect of directing this piece terrify me and leave me exhilarated in equal measure? (Is there an opportunity for everyone to learn? To feel challenged? To feel rewarded?)

I am devoted to cultivating an enriching experience for a diverse audience just as much as I am to telling a good story with actors and text. I am committed to exploring methodologies in which we engage audiences in exciting ways – through interactivity, through immersion, through a reconfiguration of space, through a breaking of the boundaries that separate performer from audience, through pre and post show discussions, through public dramaturgical displays, through the fusion of theatre with multi-media, with social activity, with food and drink.
I work with collaborators in highly physical ways, exploring vibrant, untold stories and hidden pockets of bursting life.

Producer

My first foray into both film and theatre producing came during my senior year of college. While assisting movie producer and creative executive Ivan Oyco at Spyglass Entertainment, I launched Boat Ashore Productions and began work on my first project, producing and directing Neil LaBute’s stage play The Shape Of Things. Since then, I’ve produced many stage and film projects, a number of which I’ve also directed. 
Boat Ashore Productions has since evolved into a full-fledged creative direction and production company dedicated primarily to building large-scale events, though I occasionally produce theatre and film content under this banner as well. Notable credits include Imagine What We Can Do, an evening to benefit PENCIL, held at The American Museum of Natural History, various events at major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, AOL, and Spotify for the non-profit All Star Code, and the first two installments of the annual Tommy Awards for the University of Southern California. Now in it’s seventh year, The Tommy Awards is the largest and most successful alumni-led programming in the university’s history.
Now expanding to film and television, Boat Ashore Productions recently produced a comedy music video for Glamour.com and a pilot presentation for the single camera comedy, Spice It Up.
For more information on Boat Ashore Productions, please visit BoatAshoreProductions.com.

Actor

One of my favorite things about being a director is having the opportunity to work with incredible actors. I came to directing after training as an actor at the University of Southern California, the British American Drama Academy in London, and UCB in New York.
You can check out my acting reel and photographs from various projects in the ACTOR portfolio below. Recent acting credits include roles in Barry Levinson’s The Wizard of Lies starring Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer, the upcoming feature People You May Know, shorts Dejeration and Butterfly, Aquila Theatre Company’s production of Julius Caesar at Lincoln Center, the award-winning horror feature Midnight Movie, and The Blue House’s production of Marat/Sade, which won the LA Weekly Award for Best Production of the Year. 
SAG ELIGIBLE

Writer

*Currently pitching three TV projects: two single camera comedies, Pac Heights and Spice It Up (2016 SeriesFest Semi-Finalist), and an hour long drama, Montana (Sundance Story Lab Finalist).
*Writer of More than Abel, a play which premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco
*Writer of The Adventure Addict, a blog of humor and short stories about everyday adventure
*Co-writer of Tales of a Misfit libretto with Ravi Roth, a musical cabaret which premiered at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC
*Other writing includes short films and non-fiction stories, as well as extensive speech, letter and copy writing through Boat Ashore Productions
*For work samples or inquiries, please e-mail me at Michael@BoatAshoreProductions.com.

Bio

NEW WEBSITE COMING SOON

Raised in San Francisco and based in New York City, Michael is an award-winning creator and storyteller working across film, television, theatre, digital, and large-scale events. He has written, directed and produced a number of digital projects, and is currently in development on three new series for television. He has also directed theatre regionally in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Haven and London, and has worked on large-scale productions at Lincoln Center and on Broadway. Michael is an alumni of the USC Schools of Theatre & Cinema/Television in Los Angeles, and the British American Drama Academy in London. He is a California Arts Scholar, and a member of SDC, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and Old Vic New Voices. 

Lifelong Vegetarian. Cultural Carnivore.

COMPANIES Michael has worked with include

  • The Old Vic Theatre
  • Roundabout Theatre Company
  • NY Philharmonic
  • American Conservatory Theatre
  • PunchDrunk
  • Michael Chekhov Theatre Company
  • The Magic Theatre
  • The Yale Dramat
  • The Flea
  • The Lark
  • IAMA Theatre Company
  • Upright Citizens Brigade
  • Fringe NYC
  • Midtown Int’l Theatre Festival
  • Sam French Festival
  • Planet Connections Theatre Festivity
  • National Alliance for Musical Theatre
  • New York Theatre Barn
  • Boston Court Performing Arts Center
  • Mountain Play Association

VENUES Michael has worked at include

  • New World Stages
  • Skirball Center
  • Museum of Natural History
  • The Theatre At St. Clements

  • Carnegie Hall
  • Gene Frankel Theatre
  • Dallas Cowboys Stadium
  • Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre

ASSISTANTSHIPS Michael has held include

  • Director Carey Perloff
  • Director Lonny Price
  • Choreographer Christopher Gattelli
  • Director Scott Schwartz
  • Director Annette Jolles

  • Director Jessica Kubzansky
  • Director David Glenn Armstrong
  • Casting Director Michael Donovan
  • Spyglass Entertainment Creative Executive Ivan Oyco

Press

“Where can Huck from Scandal and Joey McIntyre from New Kids on the Block perform a play written by Lena Dunham and directed by the producer of The 100?” Read more of Entertainment Weekly’s preview of IAMA’s 2016 23 Hour Play Festival. 
— ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“Everyone, even the biggest names, were thrilled and terrified by the challenge,” she told Backstage. Those names include Lena Dunham (“Girls”) and Dan Bucatinsky (“Scandal”) acting as writers, and Ian Harding (“Pretty Little Liars”), Jack Falahee (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Joe Morton (“Scandal”), and Jamie-Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) serving as actors—and that’s just a few.” Read more of Backstage West’s coverage of IAMA’s 2016 23 Hour Play Festival. 
— BACKSTAGE WEST

Ghoster’s Paradise Is Every Wronged Woman’s New Anthem.” Read more at Glamour.com.
— GLAMOUR MAGAZINE

“Directing is often a thankless task, no doubt. When the director excels, all of the many parts that make up a production seem like they could not possibly have taken any other form. The thousands of choices made in rehearsal fade: every actor seems perfectly cast, the lighting is unobtrusive, the staging is natural. Michael Schwartz achieves this seamless magic.”
— NYTHEATRE.COM

“This show, expertly directed by Michael Schwartz, featured all great numbers that were fresh and engaging.”
— BROADWAYWORLD.COM

“Under Michael Schwartz’ judicious and careful direction, each of these characters (comes) to stunning reality.”
— THEATRE REVIEWS LIMITED

“Four Stars. If you want to believe a boy can fly, there are few better sites than a mountaintop. A feeling of playtime make-believe pervades the staging by director Michael Schwartz. Pirates manipulate the rigging to make people fly, and Lost Boys animate the crocodile that hunts Captain Hook. Even if you do grow up, Peter and Wendy’s adventures may make you feel like a kid again.”
— MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL

“Why am I trying to authenticate something that had no authenticity to begin with?” thought Schwartz. “In every major production, they have tried to fix the problem by putting a Band-Aid on it. Why not create something brand new from scratch?” Read more in an interview about Peter Pan with Leah Garchik for The San Francisco Chronicle.
— SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

 

 

“When you get the casts of TV’s biggest shows together in one room, there’s a lot more that breaks loose than just all hell: There’s Jack Falahee receiving psychic readings from Guillermo Diaz, Utkarsh Ambudkar smelling Jamie Lynn Sigler’s tail, and Aja Naomi King getting relationship help from Justin Bieber…as played by Paul Adelstein, and written by Lena Dunham.” Read more of Entertainment Weekly coverage of IAMA’s 2016 23 Hour Play Festival. 
— ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“Ghoster’s Paradise combines two of our favorite things: 90’s nostalgia and complaining about jerks.” Read more at HuffPo Comedy.
— HUFFINGTON POST

“Hilarious…Crisp…Smart…Breathtaking. Slices into the disillusions and hysterias of modern society and serves them up with deliciously satirical sauce…A superb hour and a half of theater…Must see.”
— THEATREMANIA.COM

“A good ol’ 85-minute gag-fest, full of sock-o laughs and fun…Under Michael Schwartz’s direction, Corren glides swiftly through contrasting characters with detailed alacrity.”
— BROADWAYWORLD.COM

“Wonderful…Hilarious…A perfect concoction….Nothing brings quite as much joy as to witness a team of artists that integrate so wonderfully together to create a fantastic evening of theatre…Director Michael Schwartz does excellent work.”
— NYTHEATRE.COM

“A blast! A smart, entertaining, visually inventive, play-drenched production. Director Michael Schwartz, a Broadway veteran with an eye for spectacle, shows a keen sense of how to use the entire enormous stage area of the Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. On a set resembling a summer camp playground in the woods, pirates, natives and lost boys erupt from all corners of the amphitheater, a crocodile is assembled from spare tires and puppets, shadows dance, an invisible fairy knocks things over and pulls hair, magical animals prowl, trampolines are hopped upon, teeters are tottered, and bright-colored balls are bounced out into the crowd.”
— BOHEMIAN

“There’s an epic, 360-degree, immersive pirate ship battle sequence. The characters fly through the trees and over the audience’s heads. When you’re sitting in this mountain theatre and you see the Bay and the islands and the water in the background, you’re fully immersed in Neverland.” Read more in an interview about Peter Pan with Paul Libertore of the Marin Independent Journal. 
— MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL

 

 

Contact Michael

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