College of Arts and Humanities
Michael Wainstein

Michael Wainstein

Michael Wainstein began his career as a professional performer but quickly became a director. After stints in opera at companies like Cincinnati Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Chicago Opera Theatre, he earned his MFA in Directing at the famed Cincinnati Conservatory. In addition to extensive freelance work as a director all over the country at companies that included the Seattle Repertory Theatre (as assistant director to Tony Award winning director Douglas Hughes) and Michael Kahn’s Chautauqua Conservatory Theatre, Michael was the artistic director of the Lincoln Playhouse, Topeka Civic Theatre, The Firehouse Center for the Arts and Florida’s own Naples Music Theatre. He has directed more than 200 productions of plays, musicals and opera. He was the founder of the Cincinnati New Works festival. In 1992, Michael was featured in a PBS documentary about an exchange program he created between Russia’s Theatr Na Liteynom and the Topeka Civic Theatre.

In 2007 he transitioned into academia and a year later became the Chair of Savannah College of Art and Design’s Performing Arts program where he also served as head of the graduate program and founder of their musical theatre program. Michael was chair for 7 years. During his time at SCAD, he revamped both the undergraduate and graduate programs, launched an in-house casting office, and led the department to be named one of the top 25 drama schools in the country by the Hollywood Reporter in 2016. Michael is a member of the Society of Stage Director’s and Choreographers, immediate past chair of the Southeastern Theatre Conference musical theater committee and has been active with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Michael’s book, A Director’s Itinerary, was published by Hackett Publishing in 2012 and a fully-revised second edition will be released in mid-2018. He received his BA in Theatre and Music from City University of New York – Hunter College and his MFA in Directing from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM).

Research Interests

Michael's passionate interest is finding ways for higher education in the arts to remain relevant in a 21st century environment and to move the arts forward.  He has been deeply involved in creating bridges for students to employment and to that end, has fostered many connections to the professional world for students.  He works closely with faculty to insure those links are vital and giving our students the best chance for successful careers. 

His professional passion has been stage directing. First in Opera and then in musical theatre and drama/comedy, Michael has directed Shakespeare and other classics, many contemporary plays, avant-garde theatre and musicals.  He loves the classic musicals but also has directed many contemporary musicals, understanding that the future of musical theater lays in our ability to reflect the culture we live in and to discover new and exciting ways to tell stories through music. 

Activities

PUBLICATIONS

  • Wainstein, Michael L.  Stage Directing, A Director’s Itinerary. Newburyport, MA. Hackett Publishing, 2012. 

PROFESSIONAL DIRECTING CREDITS

SAVANNAH COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, 2007 - present 

  • Peter and theStarcatcher, by Rick Elice 
  • The 25thAnnual Putnam County Spelling Bee,William Finn 
  • Ragtime, by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Terrance McNally 
  • 39 Steps,by Patrick Barlow and John Buchan 
  • Doubt,by John Patrick Shanley 
  • Gee’s Bend, byElyzabeth Gregory Wilder 
  • God of Carnage,by Yasmina Reza 
  • Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine 
  • Urinetown, by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman 
  • Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, byLanieRobertson 
  • Spring Awakening, by Stephen Sater and Duncan Sheik 
  • Beehive,by Larry Gallagher 
  • A New Brain,by William Finn and James Lapine 
  • Violet, by Brian Crawley and Janine Tesori 
  • Carousel, by Rodgers and Hammerstein 
  • Hair, by Jerome Ragni and Galt McDermott 
  • Lend Me a Tenor, by Ken Ludwig 

ACTOR’S THEATRE OF NEWBURYPORT  (2009) 

  • JacquesBrelis Alive and Well,by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman 

BLOWING ROCK STAGE COMPANY  (2009) 

  • Bye, Bye Birdie,book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, music by Charles Strouse 

NAPLES MUSIC THEATRE  (AKA NAPLES DINNER THEATRE, 1998-2007) 

  • Lucky Stiff,by Ahrens and Flaherty 
  • South Pacific,by Rodgers and Hammerstein 
  • Showboat, by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II 
  • Dames at Sea,by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller 
  • Sugar,by Peter Stone with music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill 
  • Pal Joey,by Rodgers and Hart 
  • Always, Patsy Cline,by Ted Swindley 
  • My Fair Lady,music by Frederick Loewe, book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner  
  • Evita,music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice 
  • Once Upon a Mattress,music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer. 
  • Tommy,by the Who 
  • A Chorus Line,with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban 
  • A Year with Frog and Toad,by Robert and Willie Reale 
  • Victor, Victoria,book by Blake Edwards, music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse 
  • Two by Two,music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Martin Charnin, book by Peter Stone 
  • Lend Me a Tenor,by Ken Ludwig 
  • Guys and Dolls,music by Frank Loesser, book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling 
  • How to Succeed in Business,by Frank Loesser
  • The All Night Strut,conceived by Aaron Theilen and Mark Robin 
  • Jesus Christ, Superstar,music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice 
  • The Rocky Horror Show,book, music and lyrics by Richard Green 
  • Funny Girl,book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill 
  • La Cage AuxFolles, book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman 
  • I Do, IDo!,book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt 
  • Cabaret,by Kander and Ebb 
  • The Pirates ofPenzance,by Gilbert and Sullivan 
  • Ain’tMisbehavin’,conceived by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr. 
  • Gigi,book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe 
  • The King and I,by Rodgers and Hammerstein 
  • Ol’ Blue Eyes,revue conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • Mame, book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman 
  • Charlotte’s Web,music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, and a book by Joseph Robinette 
  • Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding,by Artificial Intelligence 
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,book by Texas author Larry L. King and Peter Masterson and music and lyrics by Carol Hall. 
  • A Doo-wop Christmas Carol,original musical with book by Michael Wainstein 
  • The Beat Goes On,original 70’s jukebox review by Michael Wainstein  
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart 
  • Carousel,by Rodgers and Hammerstein 
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,music and lyrics by Clark Gesner 
  • Nunsense,book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin 
  • The Odd Couple,by Neil Simon 
  • The NiftyFifites,50’s musical review conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • DrakulaIn New England,by Michael Wainstein 
  • 42ndStreet, book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by Al Dubin, and music by Harry Warren 
  • Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,by Lanie Robertson 
  • Fiddler on the Roof,by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick 
  • West Side Story,music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Arthur Laurents 
  • Chicago,by Kander and Ebb 
  • I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts 
  • Grease,byJim Jacobs and Warren Casey 
  • Run for Your Wife,by Ray Cooney 
  • Joseph and the Amazing TechnicolorDreamcoat,lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber 
  • Steel Magnolias,by Robert Harling 
  • Prisoner of Second Avenue,by Neil Simon 

FIREHOUSE CENTER FOR THE ARTS  (1993-1997) 

  • 12thNight, by William Shakespeare 
  • Hamlet, by William Shakespeare 
  • Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare 
  • GlenGarryGlen Ross, by David Mamet 
  • Angels in America, by Tony Kushner 
  • Ain’tMisbehavin, conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire 
  • Falsettos, by William Finn and James Lapine 
  • Broadway Bound, by Neil Simon 
  • Dames at Sea, by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller 
  • Nunsense, book, music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin 
  • Lost in Yonkers, by Neil Simon 
  • She Loves Me, book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock 
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, by Edward Albee 
  • Evita, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Tim Rice 
  • Oliver, by Lionel Bart 
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,music and lyrics by Clark Gesner 

NORTH SHORE GILBERT AND SULLIVANSOCIETY  (1994) 

  • HMS Pinafore, by Gilbert and Sullivan 

UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE  (1995) 

  • CosiFanTutte,by Mozart 

TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE  (1991-1993) 

  • A Christmas Carol,adapted by Michael Wainstein 
  • A Little Night Music, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler 
  • CrossingDelancey,by Susan Sandler 
  • Annie, book by Thomas Meehan, lyrics by Martin Charnin, music by Charles Strousse 
  •  Nunsense II,book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin 
  • The Cocktail Hour,by A.R. Gurney 
  • For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide,by Ntozake Shange 
  • Tintypes,conceived by Mary Kyte with Mel Marvin and Gary Pearle 
  • Pirates ofPenzance,by Gilbert and Sullivan 
  • Daddy’sDyin’, Who’s Got the Will?by Del Shores 
  • Fools,by Neil Simon 
  • Crimes of the Heart,by Beth Henley 
  • Ain’tMisbehavin, conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire 

LINCOLN PLAYHOUSE   (1989-1991) 

  • TheFantasticks, music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones 
  • The Immigrant, by Mark Harelik 
  • Some Enchanted Evening, conceived by Jeffrey Moss 
  • Working, book by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, music by Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers, and James Taylor, and lyrics by Schwartz, Carnelia, Grant, Taylor, and Susan Birkenhead 
  • Gypsy, music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents 
  • Nunsense, book, music and lyrics by Dan Goggin 
  • Sizzling Showstoppers, conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • Merrily We Roll Along, book by George Furth and lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim 
  • A ShaynaMaidel, by Barbara Lebow 
  • A Lie of the Mind,by Sam Shepard 

THE SHOWBOAT MAJESTIC  (1989) 

  • Summertime Rhapsody, Gershwin revue conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • Tintypes, conceived by Mary Kyte with Mel Marvin and Gary Pearle 

BUXTON FESTIVAL  (1989) 

  • Orfeo, by Claudio Monteverdi 

ACADEMY THEATRE, ATLANTA  (1989) 

  • A Christmas Carol, adapted by Michael Wainstein 

HORSE CAVE THEATRE(1988) 

  • I’m Not Rappaport, by Herb Gardner 

JENNY WILEY SUMMER THEATRE (1988) 

  • The Mystery of EdwinDrood, by Rupert Holmes 

CINCINNATICONSERVATORY  (1987-1989) 

  • The Dutchman, by Amiri Baraka 
  • The House of Bernarda Alba, by Frederic Garcia Llorca 
  • A Midsummer’s Night Dream, original musical conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • Stephen and Slim, Winner, Cincinnati New Play Festival 
  • Road, by Jim Cartwright 

CINCINNATIOPERA  (1985-1987) 

  • Carmen, by Bizet 
  • The Barber of Seville, by Rossini 
  • The Tales of Hoffman, by Jules Offenbach 
  • Slow Dusk, by Carlisle Floyd 
  • Susannah, by Carlisle Floyd 
  • Broadway goes to the Movies, original musical conceived by Michael Wainstein 
  • LaBoheme, by Puccini 
  • MadamaButterfly,by Puccini 
  • La Forza DelDestino,by Guiseppe Verdi 
  • The Girl of the Golden West,by Puccini 

SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE  (1985) 

Assistant Director to Doug Hughes 

  • TheForest, by Ostrovsky 
  • Endgame,by Beckett 

CHAUTAUQUA OPERA  (1985) 

  • Leo, by Michael Chang 
  • Carmen, by Bizet, Assistant Director to Cynthia Auerbach 
  • Guys and Dolls,music by Frank Loesser, book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling, Assistant director to Cynthia Auerbach 
  • Street Scene, byKurt Weill, Langston Hughes, and Elmer Rice, Assistant director to Cynthia Auerbach 

CHAUTAUQUACONSERVATORY THEATRE  (1985) 

  • The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams, Assistant to Michael Kahn 

LITTLE THEATRE AT HUNTER COLLEGE  (1984-1985) 

  • The Death of Bessie Smith, by Edward Albee 
  • Ike, Ike, Nye, Nye,by Lanford Wilson 
  • Company,music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by George Furth 

Updated: Aug 23, 2017

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