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 Michael Barakiva 

Michael Barakiva (he/him) is an Armenian/Israeli American who was born in Haifa and grew up in the suburbs of

New Jersey, which were much scarier.


He has developed new work with writers for over twenty years.  Authors he has worked with have appeared in The New Yorker, AGNI, Ploughshares, FiveChapters, Post Road, The Sun, Nylon Magazine, The Missouri Review, New Ohio Review, Stone Canoe and on NPR’s All Things Considered as well as on Broadway, Off-Broadway and television.  They have been published by Macmillan, W. W. Norton & Company, Simon & Schuster and been nominated for Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize, the Best of the Associated Writing Programs as well as Tonys, Obies, Pulitzers and Emmys. 


He became an author in his mid-30s with the publication of the YA novel One Man Guy, followed by its stand alone sequel Hold My Hand .  In 2023, his third novel, These Precious Stones will be released (all with Macmillan FSG).  His plays include The Nature of Things (EST/Sloan Project commission), Paradise Lost (adapted from Milton, Red Bull Theatre Commission), and String Theory (co-authored with Sarah Braunstein and Amy Boyce Holtcamp).   


He has directed in New York, regionally and internationally, and taught at Vassar College, Bard College, University of Rochester, North Carolina School for the Arts, UC Davis, UCSD, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Albany and the Academy for Classic Acting (ACA).  He completed the introductory workshop with Intimacy Directors International and Dr. Nia Nunn’s Anti-Racism Radical Vulnerability anti-racism workshop. 


Notable speaking engagements and panels include Iowa Governor’s Conference for LGBTQ Youth, Pennsylvania Library Leadership Conference, Brooklyn Book Fair 2019, Tompkins County Library Meet The Author Series, Unbound Book Festival, Spring Writes! Literary Festival, Keats-Shelley Association of America, McNally Jackson Books LGBTQ YA Series, New York Book Expo, and the New Play Development Process.


He has received the Granada Fellowship at UC Davis, is a two-time recipient of the David Merrick Prize in Drama, spent ten glorious days as an artist in residence at the Bulgaria National Puppet Theatre, presented at the Teatro de Universitario in Mexico City on a Specific Opportunity Stipend, received a Summer Fellowship and New Director/New Work Grant from the Drama League, is a two-time recipient of the David Merrick Prize in Drama, served as the Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY, and founded The Upstart Creatures, a company dedicated to throwing (meta)physical feasts free to all and appeared as a coach on Season 2 of MTV's Made. 


Education: Vassar College, The Juilliard School 

To find out more about Michael's writing and directing, click here

To find out more about his theatre company The Upstart Creatures, click here.

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