Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy & Letters, English, and Theater
Master of Divinity in Ritual and the Arts
MFA in Acting, Doctor of Ministry in Social Justice and the Arts
Michael’s professional theater and dance background includes 42 years of studying, performing, teaching, writing, choreographing, and directing. He is interested in the intersection point where theater, ritual, and education meet, and, has an unapologetic kinesthetic learning bias.
Dance background includes tap, jazz, ballet, modern (Cunningham, Horton, and Dunham), ballroom and Latin dance, historical dance, cultural/ethnic dances, ritual dance, musical theater, contact improvisation, improvisation, ice dancing, and creative movement, training and performance experience in London, New York, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Africa, Bali, Central America, Europe, and throughout the Bay Area. Studied and taught Dunham Technique since 1979, also known as Primitive Rhythms or African-Haitian Dance. Studied with Katherine Dunham at Stanford University and in her Dance School in East St. Louis.
Theater training and performance work in films, commercials, and theater productions in New York, St. Louis, Milwaukee, London, Honduras, and Bay Area, as well as, vocal study with Judy Davis for 3 years in Oakland. Have trained and worked with Word for Word Theater Company, Cornerstone Theater Company, Theater of the Oppressed, and Urban Bush Women. Since 1988 have used Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed pedagogy in teaching, directing, and performance work.
Taught in graduate schools in the areas of ritual drama, ritual dance, sexuality, and social justice at Pacific School of Religion, Holy Names University, New College of California, Naropa University Oakland, University of Creation Spirituality, UC Davis, and Wisdom University. Undergraduate experience includes teaching dance, theater, and theater history at St. Louis University, Chabot College, USF, and UCB, also performing, choreographing, or directing shows or productions at these institutions. Have taught in College of L&S, Department of Women and Gender Studies, Department of Public Health, The UCB/UCSF Joint Medical Program, Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, and Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at UCB. Began by teaching English, Dance, and Theater in high schools in St. Louis, where he also directed and choreographed. Facilitated junior high and high school youth groups and coordinated interfaith religious education/spirituality programs for over 20 years using the arts. Directed, choreographed, and travelled with youth choirs, adult choral groups, and drama troupes in San Francisco, St. Louis, Berkeley, Honduras, London, Greece, Russia, and Hungary.
During the 80’s and 90’s, co-created and ran a transformational change theater company, Getting to the Heart, for conferences and workshops, helping national groups and organizations negotiate systemic change and corporate transition through the arts. Wrote and created arts curricula for children, youth, and adults for 3 publishing companies. Taught creative education and learning design nationally and internationally, offering trainings for both youth and adults.
Teach dance in Bay Area grade schools as Artist-in-Residence with Learning through Education and the Arts Program (LEAP), dancing with 800+ students each year. In the afternoon, advise 300+ university students in the TDPS at UCB. Faculty lecturer teaching Interactive Theater: Acting for Social Change in the department since 2008. Artistic Director for Berkeley Interactive Theater Company for 11 years. The company has delivered countless programs and trainings to departments, colleges, faculties, and staffs as well as UC system-wide trainings and conferences, addressing the complex arenas of race, class, sexuality, ability, gender, status, and religion (USCF, UCSC, UCD, Stanford, Pomona Colleges, Santa Monica College, Haas School of Business, College of Environmental Design, Graduate Student Instructors, Department of Nutrition and Toxicology, Joint Medical Program UCSF/UCB, Samuel Merritt University, and other venues). Work as House Manager at the Aurora Theatre Company, as well as, Education Team Member, creating learning experiences for the theater community throughout the year. Freelance with films, theater companies, choral groups, and dance theater companies, contributing as choreographer, director, writer, or performer, as well as doing trainings and writing in the areas of arts, education, and activism.