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Halberstam, Michael

Michael Halberstam is the co-founder of Writers Theatre. He has directed over thirty-five productions for the company, including Not About Heroes (starring Nicholas Pennell), Private Lives, Look Back in Anger, Candida, The Father, Crime and Punishment, Benefactors, Seagull, The Duchess of Malfi, Othello, The Savannah Disputation, the world premiere musical A Minister’s Wife, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, She Loves Me, The Real Thing, Hamlet, Sweet Charity, Days Like Today, Isaac's Eye, and in Spring of 2016 he will be directing Arcadia, the first show in the new theatre center. Halberstam has appeared in numerous Writers Theatre productions, including Richard II (title role), Loot and Misalliance. Previously, he spent two years at The Stratford Festival in Ontario and performed in Timon of Athens, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (title role), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. Halberstam’s other Chicago acting credits include productions with Wisdom Bridge Theater, Court Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Elsewhere he directed The Gamester (Northlight Theatre), A Man For All Seasons (Peninsula Players Theatre), Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Candida (Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre in New York), Ten Little Indians (Drury Lane Theatre), a highly acclaimed revival of Crime and Punishment, which Writers Theatre produced off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in New York City, Enchanted April and State of the Union (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). In 2010 he directed A Minister’s Wife at Lincoln Center Theater, and also directed the west coast premiere at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2013. His forays into opera have included The Rape of Lucretia (Chicago Opera Theater), Francesca da Ramini featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and Le Freyshutz, a Berlioz adaptation of the Weber opera conducted by Christoph Eschenbach in its North American premiere (Ravinia Festival). He spent two and a half years teaching Shakespeare at The Theatre School at DePaul University and has received awards for excellence in theater management and/or artistic achievement from The Chicago Drama League, The Arts & Business Council of Chicago, Chicago Lawyers for the Creative Arts, and The Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival. He also received the 2010 Zelda Fichandler Award, the 2013 Aritstic Achievement Award from the League of Chicago Theatres, and was named the Chicago Tribune's 2013 "Chicagoan of the Year" for Theater. He currently serves on the board of the Arts Club of Chicago. Most recently he and his team at Writers Theatre brought a capital campaign to successful fruition and opened a brand new theatre center in the heart of downtown Glencoe designed by award winning architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang and directed the opening production ARCADIA.

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