Michael Barakiva is an Armenian/Israeli-American theater director and writer based in New York City. Most recently, he directed Perfect Arrangement by Topher Payne for Primary Stages. His first novel, One Man Guy, published by Macmillan (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), was ranked the #1 Gay Young Adult novel on Goodreads in 2014, named to the Rainbow List and Family Equality Council’s Book Nook and released in Brazil by LeYa. Michael also serves as an adjunct faculty member in NYU’s Dramatic Writing Program. He is an avid board-game player, and a proud member of the New York Ramblers, the world’s first openly-gay soccer club.
As a director, Michael has worked in New York and across the country developing new plays and staging classics. Credits include White People by Neil Cuthbert and They Float Up by Jacquelyn Reingold (Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC), UP by Bridget Carpenter (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Burn This by Lanford Wilson (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) and The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, Turn of the Screw by Jeffrey Hatcher and Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward (all at Syracuse Stage).
Workshops/readings include the Roundabout Theater Company, ARS Nova, New Dramatists, NY Stage & Film, New York Theater Workshop, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and Playing on Air. Michael has also taught and directed at Vassar College, Bard College, Syracuse Drama, University of Rochester, U of U at Salt Lake City, National Theatre Institute, Fordham University and UC Davis.
In addition to his novel One Man Guy, Michael received a Sloan Commission to write The Nature of Things about the Ancient Roman poet Lucretius, and co-wrote String Theory with Amy Boyce Holtcamp and Sarah Braunstein (Connotation Press). He is currently working on Hold My Hand (FSG), a standalone sequel to One Man Guy, as well as The Aether Wild, a post-apocalyptic science-fiction fantasy, with Suzanne Agins and Rosemary Andress.
Michael is a recipient of the David Merrick Prize in Drama, a Drama League Summer Fellowship, a Granada Fellowship at UC Davis and the Phil Killian Fellowship in Directing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Juilliard School, where he studied as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Directing.