MICHAEL SLADE is a playwright, librettist, television writer and children’s author whose work has been performed on five continents. The Roundabout Theatre in NYC produced a reading of his play, UNDER A RED MOON, starring Kate Burton and Billy Crudup, directed by Erica Schmidt. UNDER A RED MOON, inspired by an incident involving British serial killer, John George Haigh explores the nature of evil, sanity and faith. It subsequently premiered as a co-production between The Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio and the Carnegie Center, Covington, Kentucky in the fall of 2012, directed by Margarett Perry, starring Bradford Cover and Dee Pelletier. CHANGE, which was commissioned by The Human Race Theatre for its Theatre in Context program, premiered there in the fall of 2011 to great acclaim. AND A CHILD SHALL LEAD, which tells the inspiring story of a group of child prisoners in Terezin Concentration Camp is regularly produced by regional theatres, schools and community groups in the United States and around the world. Its 2010 Chicago production by Adventure Stage at the Vittum Theatre was hailed as “…awe inspiring theater” (Chicago Sun Times) and “…one of the most deeply moving dramas of the season.” (Centerstage Chicago). His romantic comedy, GARDEN POLITICS premiered at the 2nd Street Theatre in Bend, Oregon. It subsequently had a reading in NYC starring Kathleen Turner, Bob Dishy and Holland Taylor. His short play, THANKSGIVING, first produced in New York by MCC (directed by Marcia Jean Kurtz), has been seen at a number of regional theatres, as well as at the Edinburgh Festival. Its companion pieces CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR’S EVE both premiered at the 2nd Street Theatre in Bend, Oregon. A fourth short play, HALLOWEEN, completes the collection entitled, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. IN MEMORY OF KARL MARX, was written for the late Colleen Dewhurst at her request. Shortly prior to her death it was produced as a reading in NYC starring Ms. Dewhurst, Harold Gould and Eileen Heckart. GINGERBREAD CHILDREN, which explores child abuse and a woman’s search for grace, has had developmental readings at the Lark Theatre in NYC and the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles, and a workshop production at The Human Race Theatre in Dayton directed by Margarett Perry in the spring of 2013.
Mr. Slade wrote the book for AND THE CURTAIN RISES (music by Joseph Thalken, lyrics by Mark Campbell) inspired by the creation of The Black Crook, generally considered to have been the first American Musical (in 1865). AND THE CURTAIN RISES premiered at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in March, 2011. It was directed by Kristin Hanggi, choreographed by Josh Walden, musical directed by Boko Suzuki and featured Eric Altemus, Kevin Carolan, Alma Cuervo, Nick Dalton, Jennifer Smith and Rebecca Watson. BYE, BYE BIG GUY (music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg), a musical spoof of celebrity memorial services in which the dearly departed is Rumplestiltskin,which premiered at the Lucille Lortel Theatre as part of the 2007 NYC International Fringe Festival was directed and choreographed by Devanand Janki and featured Jill Abramovitz, Mark Gerrard, Danielle Lee Greaves, Carly Jibson, Orville Mendoza and Christopher Youngsman.
Mr. Slade has written extensively for young people and families. He contributed the books to nine musicals commissioned and produced by Theatreworks/USA: HANSEL AND GRETEL (lyrics by Jane Smulyan, music by David Evans; adapted from Engelbert Humperdinck, first directed by Michael Mayer); THE GREAT BRAIN (adapted from the books by John D. Fitzgerald, music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg, first directed by David Armstrong); GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS (music by David Evans, lyrics by Jane Smulyan, first directed by Kirsten Sanderson); SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON (adapted from the book by J.D. Wyss, music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg, first directed by Tony Phelan); THE THREE PIGS (music by David Evans, lyrics by Jane Smulyan, first directed by Tony Phelan); WHERE’S WALDO? (adapted from the books by Martin Handford, music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg, first directed by Gabriel Barre); PETER RABBIT (adapted from the book by Beatrix Potter, music by Peter Gialloreto, lyrics by Faye Greenberg, originally directed by Janet Bogardus and Michael Slade); LYLE, LYLE CROCODILE (adapted from the books by Bernard Haber, music by David Evans, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, originally directed by Tony Phelan); SUPERFUDGE (adapted from the books by Judy Blume, music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg, originally directed by Tony Phelan and Janet Bogardus). The nine musicals premiered in New York City and went on to tour the country. Mr. Slade also wrote the book for the musical POKEMON LIVE! (directed and choreographed by Luis Perez) which premiered at Radio City Music Hall in 2001 before touring nationally and internationally, ultimately playing on four continents. TADA! (a New York City company of children performing for children), commissioned Mr. Slade to write the books to THE LITTLE MOON THEATER (adapted from the book by Irene Haas, music and lyrics by Joel Gelpe), and THE GIFT OF WINTER (adapted from the book by John Leach and Jean Rankin, music by David Evans, lyrics by Faye Greenberg). He contributed additional book material to THE BERENSTAIN BEARS: FAMILY MATTERS (adapted from the books by Stan and Jan Berenstain, book, music and lyrics by Michael Borton), which toured the country before opening in New York City, where it has been playing since June, 2011. It has recently been nominated for a 2012 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show. Mr. Slade’s children’s novel, THE HORSES OF CENTRAL PARK (Scholastic Hardcover/Apple Paperback) received the 1992 ISAR award for children’s literature.
Mr. Slade has been commissioned to write two medical plays. BECOMING CHRISTOPHER tells the story of a young man with cystic fibrosis as he transitions into adulthood, and the ensuing emotional upheaval for him, his family, and friends. It premiered at the 2007 annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, and has been awarded numerous industry awards including the CLIO Healthcare Award, the Big Apple Award, and the PR Week Award. It was adapted for DVD and spawned several follow-up DVDs, as well as a social networking website for teenagers with cystic fibrosis. DIABETES: CLOSE TO THE HEART, which premiered at the American Diabetes Association and American Association of Diabetes Educators 2010 annual conferences focuses on two middle-aged women, whose friendship, family lives and health are tested by their diagnoses of Type 2 Diabetes. Mr. Slade also wrote a series of cinematic learning modules based on the characters and situations in the play, which are available to patients and health-care providers. DIABETES: CLOSE TO THE HEART recently won both both the PRism Award and the Marcomm Award.
Mr. Slade was nominated for an Emmy Award as a writer of ABC’s ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and for a Writers’ Guild Award for NBC’s ANOTHER WORLD. He has also written for NBC’s PASSIONS and DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
His new play, FAMILY SHOTS, premieres at The Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio in January, 2015. The production will be directed by Kevin Moore and feature Corbin Bleu, Colleen Zenk, Randy Brooks, Adam Halpin, Arash Mokhtar and Annie Pesche.
His screenplay, THE CRITIC, (co-written with Brian Kellow, based on Mr. Kellow’s highly acclaimed biography, Pauline Kael: A Life In the Dark) is currently in development, as is a web series, AFTER FOREVER.