Michael Stever

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Michael Stever
Michael Stever for Wikipedia.jpg
Medford, Oregon, United States
OccupationFilm director, producer, cinematographer, screenwriter, actor, singer and dancer.
Years active1991–present

Michael Stever is an American film director, cinematographer, producer, writer, and actor.

Early life[edit]

Michael Lee Stever was born in Medford, Oregon, the son of Robert Roy Stever who was in retail management with JCPenney, and a decorated World War II veteran, and Elizabeth Anne Stever, (née Gubler) a nursing assistant. Stever is of Irish, French and German ancestry and is the youngest of four siblings.

Stever's early education includes Rancho Cordova High School and Sacramento High School's Regional Occupational Program, where he produced his first film at age seventeen. He also participated in competitive swimming. An influential teacher at that time was Dennis Yoder, who also had a career as a broadcast engineer for KXTV News10. Following his high school graduation, Stever attended Cosumnes River College studying filmmaking, media production and journalism with esteemed Sacramento instructor Doree Steinmann.


Stever was drawn to the stage and successfully pursued a career as a working actor/singer/dancer. His theater credits during this time include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Juliet Prowse, the 30th anniversary tour of Mame with Morgan Brittany, the role of Joe Hardy in NETworks national tour of Damn Yankees, Diesel in a Berlin, Germany based production of West Side Story directed by longtime WSS vet Alan Johnson, Brisbane Australia's 1988 World Expo, and singing and dancing in Reno Nevada at the historic MGM Grand Hotel, in Donn Arden's Hello Hollywood, Hello. HHH boasted a cast of over 150 performers and production crew, and played for eleven years on what is still one of the world's largest indoor stages. Stever also appeared at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in several productions, including Oliver! with George S. Irving and South Pacific with Ron Raines.

He made his television debut in a 1991 episode of the science fiction series, Super Force, where he plays an alien abductee opposite the notorious Traci Lords as a shape-shifting, reptilian she-devil. In 1998 he garnered solid notices as Mortimer Brewster opposite Betty Garrett and Carole Cook in a University of Central Oklahoma production of Arsenic And Old Lace. He returned to UCO shortly thereafter performing with Shirley Jones. In 2000 he rounded out his nearly twenty year performing tenure singing in the historic Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

In 2001 Stever stepped away from performing, and devoted himself exclusively to writing and full-time filmmaking. He also began what would be a three-year stint behind the camera as Unit Production Manager on the critically acclaimed documentary, Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There.[1] His first play Erzsebet, a historical account of sixteenth century Hungarian Countess, the infamous Erzsebet Bathory received a reading in New York City in 2004.

Screened his first independently produced documentary, Saturday Nightmares; The Ultimate Horror Expo! in New York City in October 2010.[2] Saturday Nightmares: The Movie centers on the March 2010 George A. Romero family reunion at the historic (and now landmarked) Jersey City Loews movie palace. His homage to Romero features a veritable "bloodbath" of genre luminaries who appeared in key Romero films, such as actress Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow),[3] actor John Amplas (Martin), and make up effects master Tom Savini (Friday The 13th), as well as filmmaker Roy Frumkus.

In 2011, filmed and co-produced his first indie comedy/drama Checking In,[4] an independent feature based on the New York Fringe Festival play of the same name by Brian Hampton. He followed this with a 2012 music video Don't Come A Knockin for singer/songwriter Dwight Thomas Vaughn. Two following projects, the documentary short film Resurrecting Carrie, featuring Academy Award nominee Piper Laurie[5][6][7][8] and Jan Broberg's Guide To Thespians, Sociopaths & Scream Queens,[9][10][11] featuring Elijah Wood, were chosen as official selections at the third and fifth annual Macabre Faire Film Festivals, first and second annual Scares That Care film festivals, as well as the first annual ParaFest Festival in Bethlehem, PA. and the inaugural FEARnyc film festival, in New York, NY.

Stever reunited with Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels in 2011, in addition to Betsy Palmer and longtime theatrical compatriot J. Mark McVey for his self-produced documentary short, Jon Finch: The Ultimate Impresario,[12] The film pays homage to the inimitable Bartlesville Oklahoma native who has worn countless hats in the theatre, and ultimately served as 'Presenter For The Arts' at both Talequah University, and The University Of Central Oklahoma.

In 2014 Stever met and collaborated with beloved A Nightmare on Elm Street star, Heather Langenkamp. Together they produced Heather's Freddy Cut Nightmare[13][14] which chronicled her first-ever charity haircut auction on behalf of 'Scares That Care.' Later that year Stever worked with actor/playwright Stu Richelle, and director/dramaturge Linda S. Nelson filming and creating numerous multi-media installments for the Off-Off Broadway production of Vietnam…Through My Lens.[15][16] VTML chronicles Richelle's reflective journey through the Vietnam War as a combat photographer, and debuted at The Dorothy Strelsin Theater in New York City during November, 2014.

Has produced numerous mini-documentaries, including a collaboration with Stephen Schwartz chronicling his first ever opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon.[17] He films and writes for Broadwayworld.com and TheaterPizzazz.com, and between 2011 and 2014 directed and filmed over 200 comedic and dramatic scenes for actor demo reels in New York and Los Angeles. Stever also served as the official camera man for The Drama Desk Awards in New York City where he had the honor of directing Vanessa Redgrave for a Driving Miss Daisy promo spot.[18][19] He has also worked extensively as a filmmaker and videographer for the art gallery AFA NYC, The Laurie Beechman Theater, the historic New York City Players Club, Don't Tell Mama, National Arts Club, The Metropolitan Room, Feinstein's/54 Below, The Iridium, The Cutting Room, The New York Friars Club, the historic Birdland Jazz Club and for Able Rigging Contractors and Interstate Mechanical Services Inc.[20]

In 2017, featured as co-cinematographer in director Jeff Kaufman and producer Marcia Ross's award-winning Terrence McNally documentary, Every Act Of Life. Also worked with Columbus State University Dance Department head Karyn Tomczak and Lester Schecter PR to produce a tribute/documentary honoring Duke Ellington's Grand Daughter, Mercedes Ellington. Stever's documentary screened at New York Friars Club on December 20, 2017.[21][22] In late 2017 filmed and co-produced two TEDTalks episodes with actor/speaker & performance coach Kelsey Crouch. Episodes included 'How BS cured the blind girl' with Vicky DeRosa,[23] and 'Design experiences, not things' with Abraham Burickson.[24]

September 2017, the New York City Cabaret community mourned the loss of revered musical director, Maestro Barry Levitt when he suddenly passed from a heart attack at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. Stever was on hand filming for longtime client, award winning singer/songwriter Dawn Derow and filmed Levitt's final moments on stage. Derow's collaboration with Levitt and director Jeff Harnar, 'My Ship: The Songs of 1941' was set to premiere on September 19th and had to be postponed. The show re-opened the following year with Ian Herman at the musical helm. The show and its creative team later received several 2018 Mac Awards.[25][26][27]

May 2018, collaborates with Richard Hillman PR, executive producer Harvey Butler and director/playwright Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj to film the critically lauded play, Little Rock a historical drama about the Little Rock Nine. Little Rock was attended by a veritable who's who of industry notables, including a surprise visit from former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.[28][29] October 12, 2018 Stever's DVD collaboration with beloved New York City Vaudevillian Sidney Myer is publicly unveiled at the 29th Annual Cabaret Convention, and on Amazon. Filmed and edited by Stever and co-produced in conjunction with The Mabel Mercer Foundation, KT Sullivan and Ken Bloom's Harbinger Records, Sidney Myer: Live At The Laurie Beechman Theatre DVD[30][31] has been well received.

2019 found Stever filming with an eclectic array of Broadway and Cabaret Leading Ladies, including the propulsive Klea Blackhurst, [32] clarion voiced Lorna Dallas, [33] Lynn Henderson whose Skitch Henderson homage, 'A Skitch In Time: My Tribute to Maestro Skitch Henderson' won raves, [34] award winning singer/songwriter Dawn Derow,[35] as well as several collaborations with beloved Broadway veteran, Karen Mason.[36][37][38][39]

March 2020, The Broadway and Theatrical communities lost esteemed, Tony Award winning playwright Terrence McNally on March 24th. Shortly after Terrence's passing, Stever plus director Jeff Kaufman and producer Marcia Ross unveiled a never-before-seen Q&A panel discussion to the public, originally filmed in 2018. The Q&A, exclusively filmed & co-produced by Stever features candid recollections from McNally himself, director Kaufman, Nathan Lane, Tyne Daly, F Murray Abraham, Joe Mantello and was moderated by New York Times columnist Frank Rich. It serves as an effective follow-up to the critically lauded documentary, Every Act of Life which premiered in New York City and chronicles the unparalleled achievements, ups and downs of the legendary playwright. [40][41][42] Shortly after McNally's passing, beloved former Drama Desk President William Wolf also passed. Stever's love and respect for Wolf, in addition to his long history as the official videographer for The Drama Desk was featured in a series of video montages celebrating Wolf, and The Drama Desk Awards.[43]

Personal life[edit]

In addition to 'Scares That Care,' Stever has donated his skills to numerous U.S. based charitable organizations including AIDS Walk New York, and the 2006 Tourette Syndrome Celebrity Fundraiser. On February 23, 2009 he documented the historic 'Defying Inequality Broadway Concert,' interviewing the likes of Lynda Carter, Billy Porter, Gavin Creel, Tamara Tunie, Jonathan Groff, Stephen Schwartz and many others as Stever stood in support of marriage equality after the Supreme Court of California upheld a ban on same-sex marriage approved by voters in November 2008 by ballot Proposition 8.[44][45]


2020 Lorna Dallas: Home Again (Filmed Concert, Birdland Jazz Club, NYC) Director of Photography, Editor
2020 Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life Q&A (post screening Q&A) Director of Photography, Editor
2019 Lynn Henderson: A Skitch in Time (Filmed Concert, Don't Tell Mama, NYC) Director of Photography, Editor
2019 Klea Blackhurst: One Of The Girls (Filmed Concert, Birdland Jazz Club, NYC) Director of Photography, Editor
2018 Broadway: Beyond The Golden Age (Documentary feature) assistant camera
2018 Vicky DeRosa: How BS cured the blind girl (TEDTalks lecture) co-producer, director of photography, editor
2018 Abraham Burickson: Design experiences, not things (TEDTalks lecture) co-producer, director of photography, editor
2017 Every Act of Life (Documentary feature) cinematography
2017 All In with Cam Newton (TV Series) additional cinematography
2017 A Very Sordid Wedding (Independent Feature) additional photography – documentary segments
2016 Abducted in Plain Sight aka Forever 'B' (Documentary feature) filmed and produced introductory fund raising video
2015 Disorganized Zone (TV Series) additional cinematography
2014 Fay Wray: A Life (Documentary feature) additional cinematography, research assistant
2014 Heather's Freddy-Cut Nightmare! (Featurette) producer, director, cinematographer, lead editor
2013 Jan Broberg's Guide to Thespians, Sociopaths & Scream Queens (Documentary short) creator, executive producer, director of photography and camera operator, editor
2013 Checking In (Independent feature) director of photography and cinematography
2012 Dwight Thomas Vaughn: Don't Come a Knockin (Music video) director of photography and camera operator, editor
2012 Watch What Happens: Live (TV Series) camera operator – 1 episode
2012 Resurrecting Carrie (Documentary short) executive creative director, writer, director of photography and camera operator, editor
2012 Archaeology of a Woman (New York City screening featurette) additional photography – documentary segments
2012 Drama Desk Panel Discussion - It's a Hard Act to Follow (Documentary) producer, director of photography
2011 Artists and Alchemists (Documentary feature) grip
2011 Girls Who Smoke (Dramatic short) additional photography
2011 Jon Finch: The Ultimate Impresario (Documentary short) executive producer, executive creative director, creator, director of photography and camera operator, editor
2011 League Of Professional Theatre Women's 30th Anniv Kick Off (Video short/featurette) executive producer, executive creative director, director of photography and camera operator, editor
2011 Stephen Schwartz: Séance Is a 'Wicked' Mistress (Documentary short) producer, writer, director of photography and camera operator
2010 Saturday Nightmares: The Ultimate Horror Expo of All Time! (Documentary short) executive producer, creator, director of photography and camera operator, editor
2008 How to Get and Keep an Agent (Instructional Video) associate producer, segment director, camera operator – part one, lead editor
2006 The Barry Z Show (TV Series) camera operator
2006 The 2006 Tourette Syndrome Celebrity Fundraiser camera operator
2004 Still Life Independent short second assistant director
2004 Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Feature film) production crew
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (Documentary feature) unit production manager, camera operator
2003 Third Watch (TV Series) production crew
2003 The Brini Maxwell Show (TV Series) camera operator, production crew

Film roles[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Analyze That SWAT Team Gunman Directed by Harold Ramis

TV roles[edit]

Year Title Role Director Notes
2001 Deadline Bomb Squad Expert Robert Berlinger TV Series Season 1 Episode 12
1991 Super Force Mike Sidney Hayers TV Series Season 1 Episode 18


  1. ^ Grimm, Eric J. (February 21, 2014). "All My Friends Are Demons: A Profile of Filmmaker Michael Stever". Theater Pizzazz. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Cinema Retro: DVD REVIEW: "SATURDAY NIGHTMARES: THE ULTIMATE HORROR EXPO OF ALL TIME!"". cinemaretro.com. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  3. ^ Cerbo, Toni-Ann. "The Famed Interior of Loew's Theatre will make an appearance on the silver screen this weekend". NJ.com. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "Hampton's-CHECKING-IN-to-become-independent-film". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "Winners, Highlight Video Revealed for FEARnyc Festival". Fangoria. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  6. ^ "Piper Laurie, David Naughton and Kim Coates to Appear at SCARES THAT CARE". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "Shaking up the American Film Festival – One 'Scare' At A Time: Scares That Care, Piper Laurie and Documentaries". Horror Society. September 20, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "Entertainment Weekly: Stever documentary to screen at inaugural FEARnyc horror film festival". EW.com. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  9. ^ "THE MAGNIFICENT JAN BROBERG". Big Gay Horror. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "All My Friends Are Demons, Filmmaker Michael Stever profile". TheaterPizzazz.com. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  11. ^ "Interview: Jan Broberg". INDYNYC.COM. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  12. ^ "BWW.com: Shirley Jones et al. Pay Tribute to Impresario Jon Finch". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Horror Society: Elm Street's Langenkamp, Filmmaker Stever & Stylist King Chronicle First Ever 'Freddy-Cut Auction' For 'Scares That Care'". horrorsociety.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "NBCNewYork.com: NBC News Honors Veterans & Off Broadway play, 'Vietnam... Through My Lens.'". NBCNewYork.com. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  16. ^ "fisherhouse.org: Vietnam...Through my Lens Premieres". FisherHouse.org. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  17. ^ "BWW.com: Schwartz SEANCE Is A 'Wicked' Mistress". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "Drama Desk and Filmmaker Release Panel Discussion on DVD & Video on Demand". Theater Pizzazz. October 13, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  19. ^ "Michael Stever directs Vanessa Redgrave for The Drama Desk". PR Log. March 1, 2011. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  20. ^ "Looking at the Art of Escapism in Daniel Merriam's Watercolors". Hi-Fructose Magazine. June 10, 2015. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  21. ^ "Mercedes Ellington". Theaterlife.com. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "News: Mercedes Ellington Receives Lifetime Achieve in Dance Award". Theater Pizzazz. December 10, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  23. ^ "News: Vicky DeRosa, How BS Cured The Blind Girl". TEDTalks. February 21, 2018.
  24. ^ "News: Abraham Burickson, Design experiences, not things". TEDTalks. February 21, 2018.
  25. ^ "News: Barry Levitt a/k/a The Maestro". TheaterPizzazz. September 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "News: MAC Award-winner Dawn Derow's "My Ship: Songs from 1941" sails into the Cotuit Center for the Arts". Nitelife Exchange. September 4, 2018.
  27. ^ "News: Remembering Barry Levitt, 1947-2017". Nitelife Exchange. September 25, 2017.
  28. ^ "News: President and Hillary Clinton Attend LITTLE ROCK". BWW. September 5, 2018.
  29. ^ "News: HAIL TO THE MIGHTY LITTLE ROCK NINE". Theater Pizzazz. September 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "Sidney-Myer-live-at-the-laurie-beechman-theatre". Theater Pizzazz. October 30, 2018. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  31. ^ "Bring-Sidney-home-live-at-the-laurie-beechman-theatre-DVD". NiteLife Exchange. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  32. ^ "Klea Blackhurst Is a Certified Jerry Herman Top Girl". NiteLife Exchange. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  33. ^ "Lorna Dallas HOME AGAIN Is A Welcome Show In Person Or Online". Broadway World. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  34. ^ "Lynn Henderson: A Skitch in Time: My Tribute to Maestro Skitch Henderson". Cabaret Scenes. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  35. ^ "At Home With Dawn Derow". Broadway World. Retrieved April 5, 2020.
  36. ^ "Six Questions Special Edition: Broadway Star and Singer Karen Mason". Nitelife Exchange. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  37. ^ "Karen Mason 'It's About Time'". Chicago Tribute. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  38. ^ "Karen Mason 'For The First Time'". Cabaret Scenes. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  39. ^ "Cabaret diva Karen Mason takes on Kander and Ebb's 'All That Jazz'". Chicago Tribute. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  40. ^ "Every Act of Life co-cinematographer Michael Lee Stever unveils Q&A". Cabaret Scenes. Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  41. ^ "Broadway Radio Highlights". Broadway Radio. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  42. ^ "Around The Town 'Every Act of Life' Q&A". Theater Life. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  43. ^ "In Memory of William Wolf". Theater Pizzazz. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  44. ^ "Wicked & Wonder Woman Defy Inequality!". PR-Log. February 28, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  45. ^ "WICKED Movement Defies Inequality in NYC!". PR-Log. January 21, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2018.

External links[edit]