Michael Greif

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Michael Greif, working on Dear Evan Hansen.png
Michael Greif
Born 1959 (age 56–57)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Occupation Theater director

Michael Greif (born ca. 1959) is a stage director, born in Brooklyn, New York.[1] He has received three Tony Award nominations and won three Obie Awards.


Greif attended Northwestern University[1] and graduated from the University of California-San Diego graduate directing program. He was the Artistic Director of the La Jolla Playhouse, LaJolla, California from 1994 to 1999.[2]

For Broadway he has directed the musicals If/Then, Next to Normal (also at Second Stage Theatre and Arena Stage) and Grey Gardens (also at Playwrights Horizons), receiving Tony Award nominations as director for the latter two. He directed the original 1996 production of Rent, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical, the Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Director of a Musical, and the Obie Award.[3]

He was an Artistic Associate at the New York Theatre Workshop where he directed, among others, Bright Lights, Big City (1998–99) and the original production of Rent.[4]

Among his many directing credits Off-Broadway are Katori Hall's Our Lady of Kibeho, John Guare's Landscape of the Body and A Few Stout Individuals at the Signature Theater,[5] Beauty of the Father for the Manhattan Theatre Club,[6] and Romeo and Juliet, Winter's Tale, and The Tempest at the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater (2007, 2010, 2015).[7]

In 2009, Greif directed Mrs. Sharp, with music and lyrics by Ryan Scott Oliver, at Playwrights Horizons starring Jane Krakowski.

Greif directed the new musical Dear Evan Hansen, which opened Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in March 2016, after premiering at the Arena Stage (Washington, DC) in 2015.[8][9]

Grief is directing the premiere of the new musical War Paint, which opened in June 2016 at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. The musical has a book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie, and stars Patti LuPone as Helena Rubinstein and Christine Ebersole as Elizabeth Arden.[10]

Work (selected)[edit]

La Jolla Playhouse
  • The Three Cuckolds (1986)
  • What The Butler Saw (Joe Orton) (1992)
  • Thérèse Raquin (Neal Bell adaption of Zola) (1994)
  • Slavs! (Tony Kushner) 1995)
  • Faust (Randy Newman) (1995)
  • Boy (Diana Son) (1996)
  • Sweet Bird of Youth (1999)
  • Our Town (2001)

Williamstown Theater Festival

  • Therese Racquin (1994)
  • The Seagull (1995)
  • Tonight at 8:30 (2001)
  • Strew Scene (2002)
  • Once in a Lifetime (2003)
  • Landscape of the Body (2004)
  • The Cherry Orchard (2005)
  • The Three Sisters (2008)
  • Far From Heaven (2011)
Guthrie Theater

New York Theater Workshop

  • 70 scenes of Halloween (1986)
  • RENT (1996)
  • Bright Lights, Big City (1998)
  • Cave-Dweller (2002)

The Public Theater

  • Machinal (1990)
  • A Bright Room Called Day (1991)
  • Casanova (1991)
  • Pericles (1992)
  • Marisol (1994)
  • Dogeaters (2001)
  • Satellites (2006)
  • The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide... (2010)
  • Giant (2012)

Signature Theater

  • A Few Stout Individuals (2002)
  • Landscape of the Body (2006)
  • Angels in America (2010)

Playwrights Horizons

  • Spatter Pattern (2004)
  • Grey Gardens (2006)
  • Far From Heaven (2013)

Second Stage

  • Spike Heels (1993)
  • Next to Normal (2009)
  • Boy's Life (2011)
  • Dear Evan Hansen (2016)


  1. ^ a b Welsh, Anne Marie, "New York and family call Michael Greif home", The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 10, 1999, p.E-1
  2. ^ Horwitz, Simi."Michael Greif Exits La Jolla", reprint from Backstage in allbusiness.com, October 9, 1998
  3. ^ Obie Award for 1996Village Voice, accessed May 8, 2009
  4. ^ Archives, New York Theatre Workshop nytw.org, accessed May 8, 2009
  5. ^ Listing signaturetheatre.org, accessed May 8, 2009
  6. ^ Hoffman, Jan.Directing in Every Direction at Once",The New York Times, December 18, 2005
  7. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Rash and Unadvis’d in Verona Seeks Same",The New York Times, June 25, 2007
  8. ^ Marks, Peter. "'Dear Evan Hansen': Original story, high hopes for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul","The Washington Post", July 10, 2015
  9. ^ Clement, Olivia (March 26, 2016). "Pasek and Paul's 'Dear Evan Hansen' Bows in New York". Playbill. 
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole Apply War Paint, Starting Tonight", playbill.com, June 28, 2016
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew."Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide Begins Guthrie Run May 15", playbill.com, May 15, 2009; NY Premiere: March 23-June 12, 2011 at NY Public Theater

External links[edit]