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Center REPertory Company

Artistic Director, Michael Butler

[ Contact Michael at mbutler@centerrep.org ]

Now in his 11th Season as Center REP’s artistic director, Michael was recently honored by Theatre Bay Area as one of 40 individuals who have made unparalleled contributions to the region’s theatre sector.  His many directing credits at Center REP include Art, Anything Goes, Clybourne Park, and the world premiere of the REP/DRAA-commissioned Real Housewives of Walnut Creek: the Musical, as well as the Shellie and BATCC Award-winning productions of Around the World in 80 Days, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Enchanted April, and Witness For The Prosecution.  Nationally, his directing work has also been seen at San Jose Rep, Cleveland Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Laguna Playhouse, ACT in Seattle, Marin Theatre Company, Aurora Theatre Company, San Jose Stage, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and two productions at The Juilliard School, of which he is also a graduate.  As an actor, Michael was in the Broadway productions of Two Shakespearean Actors with Brian Bedford and Victor Garber and Macbeth with Christopher Plummer and Glenda Jackson, as well as many Off Broadway productions (New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, the Public Theatre), regional theatres (The Guthrie, Long Wharf, the Alley, Arena Stage) film and television, and most recently REP’s productions of Mirandolina!, The Mousetrap, Noises Off and Rumors.  He is a published songwriter and the co-writer and composer of numerous music-theatre pieces, which he has performed in NY, LA, and at festivals in India and Morocco. In his career as a performer he has also danced with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, portrayed the villainous Pierre LeChance on “The Guiding Light”, and played guitar and harmonica in many rock, blues, and country western bands at all the notable dives in NYC.  Proud member of Actors Equity Association, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and The Dramatists Guild.

Prior to Center REP, Michael held the post of Associate Artist at San Jose Repertory Theatre where his directing credits include The Haunting of Winchester (World Premiere), Mary's Wedding, Side Man, Desire Under the Elms, Twelfth Night, and Nixon's Nixon, as well as serving as the Rep's Literary Manager and publications writer, and acting in a dozen productions. Other directing credits include the World Premiere of Custody of the Eyes at Cleveland Playhouse, Bus Stop at Marin Theatre Company, The Marriage of Figaro at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Not About Heroes at San Jose Stage, Nixon's Nixon at Seattle Rep, Benched at Sacramento Theatre Company, The Blue Room at the Theatre on San Pedro Square, Knock Knock at the Aurora Theatre, As You Like It at San Jose State, where he taught a course in the Creative Process, and From Now On and The New York Play at the Juilliard School, of which he is a graduate. He also directed Krissy Keefer's solo dance-theatre piece, Queen of Sheba, at Dance Mission in San Francisco, wrote and directed Penelope Puddles' Problematic Playground for Make a Circus, and adapted and directed the one woman show Dorothy Parker: Red Room Blues, for the Philadelphia Art Alliance. He is the co-writer and composer of many music-theatre pieces, which he has directed and performed around the world. These include Shout & Twist, which was produced at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York, the Odyssey Theatre in LA, the Prithvi Theatre Festival in Mumbai and on a tour of India, and It's Still Life, which was commissioned by and performed at the Whitney Museum in New York, as well as theatre festivals in Morocco and India. He co-composed the music and lyrics with the noted blues recording artist Chris Cain for Thunder Knocking on the Door, which opened San Jose Rep's new downtown theatre, and subsequently directed a production of it at A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle. He has written songs and underscoring for productions at the Guthrie Theatre, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and San Jose Rep, as well as the Merchant Ivory film, Slaves of New York. As an actor, Michael has worked on Broadway and off, in film and television, and in most of the major regional theatres around the country. Highlights include the Broadway productions of Two Shakespearean Actors with Brian Bedford and Victor Garber, Macbeth with Glenda Jackson and Christopher Plummer, the title role in Candide at the Guthrie Theatre and leading roles at The Public Theatre, the Roundabout, Arena Stage, and Long Wharf, as well as tours of Russia, Europe and Australia with The Acting Company. He played the title role in the PBS production of David Gordon's Punch and Judy Get Divorced and was the villainous Pierre LeChance on The Guiding Light. In his career as a performer he has also danced with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company and played guitar and harmonica in many rock, blues, and country western bands at all the notable dives in NYC. Proud member of Actors Equity Association, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, and The Dramatists Guild.