Michael Mayer (director)
June 27, 1960|
Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Mayer was born in Bethesda, Maryland to Jerry and Louise Mayer. For his bar mitvah in 1973 he asked his parents for a movie camera and received a Super 8 single lens with a zoom. His first film was a dramatization of "The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia." After graduating from Charles W. Woodward High School, he studied acting at New York University's (NYU) Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned an MFA in Theater in 1983. He began performing onstage in New York City but by 1990 had turned his efforts to directing, working as a freelancer while also teaching at NYU, the Lincoln Center Theater Institute, and the Juilliard School.
In 2007, Mayer won his first Tony Award for his direction of the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening (2006), which also won the award for Best Musical. He was nominated for the 2002 Tony for his direction of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which he then directed on London's West End. Mayer also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Musical for both Spring Awakening and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Other Broadway credits include The Lion in Winter (1999), the 1999 revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Side Man (1998; Drama Desk Award). He directed the 1998 Tony Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge starring Anthony LaPaglia and Brittany Murphy, for which he was nominated for a Tony and won the Drama Desk Award. He directed Triumph of Love in 1997, starring Betty Buckley, Susan Egan and F. Murray Abraham, with music by Jeffrey Stock and lyrics by Susan Bikenhead.
He directed and wrote the book for the musical American Idiot (2010), based on Green Day's 2004 album American Idiot. He directed and "re-conceived" the 2011 revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever starring Harry Connick, Jr.. He directed the first Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which opened in 2014.
Mayer's off-Broadway directing credits include The Credeaux Canvas, John C. Russell's Stupid Kids, Peter Hedges' Baby Anger, Theresa Rebeck's View of the Dome, and the New York premiere of Janusz Głowacki's Antigone in New York.
Film and television
After directing on- and off-Broadway for more than 15 years, Mayer made his feature film directorial debut with A Home at the End of the World, starring Colin Farrell and Robin Wright Penn, in 2004. He went on to make the family film Flicka (2006), an adaptation of the story My Friend Flicka, which became a hit in DVD market. In 2013 and 2014 he directed selected episodes of Amazon's Alpha House starring John Goodman. In 2015, he directed a new film adaptation of The Seagull, starring Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Saoirse Ronan.
He should not be confused with the identically spelled Michael Mayer, who directed a sleeper titled Graduation (2007), which is available through Netflix's instant programming. (IMDb correctly has this film's direction attributed to a different Michael Mayer.)
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2014)
- On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (2011)
- American Idiot (2010)
- Spring Awakening (2006)
- Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002)
- 'night, Mother (2004)
- After the Fall (2004)
- An Almost Holy Picture (2002)
- Uncle Vanya (2000)
- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999)
- Side Man (1998)
- Triumph of Love (1997)
- Whorl Inside a Loop (2015, with Dick Scanlan)
- Brooklynite (2015)
- Everyday Rapture (2009)
- Our House
- 10 Million Miles
- Spring Awakening
- Missing Persons
- America Dreaming
- Hundreds of Hats
- Funny Girl (2016)
- Angels in America (1994)
- Rigoletto (2012)
- "Names & Faces" (column), Washington Post, May 9, 1998, "Style" section, page D3.
- "Michael Mayer biography and filmography | Michael Mayer movies". Tribute.ca. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
- "NYU Graduate Acting Alumni". 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
- Judith Weinraub. "'Angels' around America: Elaborate staging and mature themes make the Broadway hit a risk on the road," Washington Post, May 7, 1995, Sunday Arts section, page G7.
- Alexis Greene (14 June 1998). "Hot director takes the stage(s)". The Star-Ledger, "Spotlight". p. 2.
- Jones, Kenneth. "The "Smash" Report: Pilot — No People Like Show People, or Heaven on Earth" Playbill, January 23, 2012
- Michael Mayer at the Internet Broadway Database
- Michael Mayer at the Internet Movie Database
- Steven Drukman. "A Two-Career Man: Theater Director And Jewish Mother", The New York Times, January 3, 1999. Retrieved July 2, 2007.
- Announcement for 10 Million Miles
- Mayer milestones
- Interview with Mayer about Spring Awakening