Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard

Michael Barnard is currently entering his 20th season as The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Producing Artistic Director. This season, he directed West Side Story in the Mainstage Theatre and will be directing the world premiere musical, Cookin’s a Drag, in the Hormel Theatre.
Michael received his Master’s in Theatre with an emphasis in directing at Northwestern University. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Arizona State University. Prior to arriving back in the Valley in 1999, Michael was a senior show director for the Disney Corporation in Anaheim. He worked for Disney for nine years directing over 400 corporate events and the highly noted stage shows PocahontasHunchback of Notre DameFestival of Fools and Animazement. In addition, he directed multiple studio film openings, countless industrials and the California Governor’s Arts Awards.
Michael has directed over 560 productions from New York to Los Angeles, working for such prestigious companies as The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios Japan, Ashland Cabaret, Utah Shakespeare, Florida Stages, Santa Barbara CLO, Webster University, Forestburgh Playhouse NY, The Barrows Group NYC, St. Louis Playhouse, and PCPA. In Arizona, Michael has directed and/or choreographed for Actor’s Theatre of Arizona, Arizona Jewish Theatre, The Phoenix Symphony, Black Theatre Troupe, Herberger Theatre Center, Valley Youth Theatre and Childsplay. 
Michael is devoted to a variety of social causes and has directed over 1,000 special events. He also conceived the Phoenix Theatre outreach program, Partners That Heal, now in its 11th year of training actors to use improvisational theatre to bring laughter and comfort to children and their families in hospitals across Arizona.
Michael was an adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s School of Music and was named 2009’s Artist of the Year by the Governor’s Arts Awards. In 2011, he received the National Arts and Letters Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Musical Theatre. In 2012, he was awarded Leadership in Arts Award from the YWCA, and in 2015, he received the Arts Leader Award from Phoenix Boys Choir. In 2018, Michael received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognizing him for embodying the spirit of America in exhibiting tolerance and embracing diversity. 
Michael is the head of The Phoenix Theatre Company’s New Works Incubator, which assists in the professional development of new plays and musicals. He is currently working on several new musicals, including Americano!, a story of a dreamer in Arizona, Lunch at Audrey’s, a play which offers a glimpse into the life of Audrey Hepburn, and Cookin's a Drag. As Artistic Director at The Phoenix Theatre Company, he has directed and choreographed such hits including: West Side Story, Godspell, The Boob Show, Newsies, Bullets Over Broadway, Billy Elliot, The Wizard of Oz, The Toxic Avenger, Chicago, Gypsy, Pippin, Mary Poppins, White Christmas, Dream a Little Dream, Man of La Mancha, Children of Eden, Sophisticated Ladies, Into the Woods, Cabaret, and Unbeatable to name a few. He also helped to create Lucky Star, which closed Phoenix Theatre’s 2007/2008 season. Michael owes much of his success at The Phoenix Theatre Company to the dedicated staff, board and artists who believe in and are dedicated to the best work possible.

Roles

Co-Book Writer, Americano!