• Bios Home
Halberstam, Michael

Michael Halberstam (Artistic Director) is the co-founder of Writers Theatre a theatre company dedicated to the world and the artist located on the North Shore of Chicago. 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, Arcadia, Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody (which he co-directed withStuart Carden) and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (which he co- adapted and directed with Scott Parkinson.  Most recently he directed The Importance of Being Earnest.  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 credentials include productions with Wisdom Bridge Theater, Court Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Elsewhere he directed TheGamester (Northlight Theatre), A Man for All Seasons (Peninsula Players Theatre), Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Candida (Jean Cocteau Repertory 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 Apriland State of the Union (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). In 2011 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 Rimini featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted byChristoph Eschenbach and Le Freyshutz, a Berlioz adaptation of the Weberopera 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, was named the Chicago Tribune's 2013 "Chicagoan of the Year" for Theater, and received the 2016 Award of Honor for Outstanding Contributions to the Field from the Illinois Theatre Association, a special award for 2016 from the Joseph Jefferson Award Committee for outstanding theatrical accomplishments and contributions to Chicagoland theatre for the past 25 years; and a distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois. He currently serves on the board of the Arts Club of Chicago.

Shows Associated this writer

Songs Associated this writer