Michael Barakiva


MICHAEL BARAKIVA, Artistic Director, is an Armenian/Israeli theater director and writer based in New York City. As a director, Michael has worked in New York and across the country developing new plays and staging classics. Credits include Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne (Primary Stages), White People by Neil Cuthbert (Ensemble Studio Theater), UP by Bridget Carpenter (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Burn This by Lanford Wilson (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, Turn of the Screw by Jeffrey Hatcher and Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward (all at Syracuse Stage). Michael is recipient of the David Merrick Prize in Drama, a Drama League Summer Fellowship, a Granada Fellowship at UC Davis and the Phil Killian Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, where he studied as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Directing. Michael serves as an adjunct professor at NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing. Michael also founded and is the artistic director of The Upstart Creatures (upstartcreatures.com), a theater company dedicated to creating (meta) physical feasts combining theater and food. He is an avid board-game player, and a proud member of the New York Ramblers, the world’s first openly-gay soccer club. His first novel, One Man Guy, published by Macmillan (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was ranked the #1 Gay Young Adult novel on Goodreads in 2014, named to the Rainbow List and Family Equality Council’s Book Nook, and released in Brazil by LeYa. The sequel, Hold My Hand was just released this year.