Extended bios

Michael Gene Sullivan

(For more about Michael and Velina Brown, see the article about them in American Theatre Magazine.)

As an actor Michael has credits at the Bay Area's four Tony award-winning regional theaters: The American Conservatory Theater, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, Theatreworks, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. He has also performed at the California Shakespeare Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company, San Francisco Playhouse, Aurora Theatre Company, The Magic Theatre, The Marin Theatre Company, Symmetry Theatre, Central Works, Word For Word, The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, African-American Shakespeare Company, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, as well performances off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Asian People's Theater Festival (Hong Kong), The Festival of People's Theatre (Canada), the Kwachon International Outdoor Theatre Festival (Korea), the Israel Theatre Festival, and the International Festival of Theatre Action (Belgium). Since 1988 he has also been a principal member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, where he has acted in, directed, and/or directed over thirty productions in the US and abroad.

As a director Michael has worked with the San Francisco Shakespeare Company (JULIUS CAESAR), African American Shakespeare Company JULIUS CAESAR and THE COLORED MUSEUM), Theatre First (THE LAST SERMON OF SISTER IMANI), Mystic Bison Theatre (DEATH AND THE MAIDEN), Castle Peak Productions (HONG KONG MEMORIES, EXOTIC FORTUNES), and the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (A DAY OF ABSENCE), and from 2008 - 2010 he directed San Francisco's all- woman, all-amazing, and all-hilarious CIRCUS FINELLI. He was co-Artistic Director of the Street of Dreams Theater ('80 - '86), Associate Artistic Director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theater ('93 -'94), and since 1994 has been co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, where he has staged several of SFMT's most popular shows, including SCHOOLED, FOR THE GREATER GOOD, RED STATE, VERONIQUE OF THE MOUNTIES, 1600 TRANSYLVANIA AVENUE, COAST CITY CONFIDENTIAL, KILLING TIME, MR. SMITH GOES TO OBSCURISTAN, and directed the award-winning production of I AIN'T YO UNCLE.

As a playwright Michael began as a contributing writer on San Francisco Mime Troupe in the mid-nineties, and in 2000 Michael became the Troupe's Resident Playwright, and has since 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, FREEDOMLAND (nominated Best World Premiere Musical, Theatre Bay Area Awards 2015), 2016's SCHOOLED (with Eugenie Chan), and 2017'S WALLS.

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, and has since been produced and performed in Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, and 40 of the United States. published in the United States, Canada, and Spain, 1984 is available in six languages, and in the 2019/20 season opens at the Alley Theatre in Houston, tours nationally with Aquila Theatre, and at the National Theater of Ukraine. Michael's other non-Mime Troupe plays include an all-woman political farce RECIPE, (CentralWorks, 2014), and a modern, worker-oriented adaptation of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Open Door Theater, Sheffield, UK, 2014), and his one person show, DID ANYONE EVER TELL YOU - YOU LOOK LIKE HUEY P. NEWTON?, ( New York Fringe Festival, Vancouver Fringe Festival, and at the Eureka Theatre.) Michael is also honored to be a Resident Playwright with San Francisco's nationally-acclaimed Playwright's Foundation, and was awarded a 2017 Artist Fellowship from the Djerassi Arts Center.

For ten years Michael was a regular contributor to Huffingtonpost.com, one of the foremost political sites on the internet. He has spoken politically at events throughout the Bay Area, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and teaches a workshop for political speakers, "SAY IT LOUD! How to communicate your passion and message, and inspired your audience to action!" He guest lectured at Yale University, Stanford University, The National Theatre Conservatory, Trinity College, Dartmouth College, University of Southern California, University of California at Humboldt, New Colleges of San Francisco and Santa Rosa, and the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis. For the past 15 years has been principal teacher for the San Francisco Mime Troupe's Young California Writer's Project, and in 2018 Michael began teaching playwriting for the American Conservatory Theater's Studio A.C.T.

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 the Israel Baran Award for RECIPE. 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 2015 Michael was given Stanford University's Equity Award for using his work to help achieve racial, gender, and age balance on stage, and in 2016 he was honored by Theatre Bay Area as one of "40 stellar theatre artists, supporters and champions that have changed the face of Bay Area theatre."

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