Michael Haverty is a playwright and director, serving as Producing Artistic Director of The Object Group, and Associate Artistic Director of 7 Stages Theatre. In these roles and as a freelance artist, Michael produces, writes and directs original performances and theatrical adaptations of great literature. In 2001 Michael began creating unique multimedia theater for adult audiences, blending puppetry, live actors, experimental movement and sound into original adaptations of the epic of Gilgamesh and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. From 2002 to 2012 Michael appeared extensively at the Center for Puppetry Arts as an artistic associate, performing in over twenty shows, touring internationally, writing and directing contemporary puppet theatre in multiple styles for families, adults, teens, and the very young. From 2004 to 2013 Michael served as program director of Xperimental Puppetry Theater, supporting and curating the work of emerging puppetry artists in Atlanta. In 2011 Michael founded The Object Group, a large ensemble devising interactive performance installations mixing object theatre and tableaux vivant. Among many site-specific performance installations, The Object Group has built a three year relationship with the High Museum of Atlanta, creating interactive performances to engage with exhibitions of Frida Kahlo, modern masters, and the permanent collection. Since 2012 Michael has produced, written and directed new plays for 7 Stages Theatre, including adaptations of Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, and the sold-out, smash hit, interactive epic The Navigator, which was named the best world premiere of the year (’13) by Atlanta’s cultural weekly, Creative Loafing. At 7 Stages Michael initiated and now curates the Curious Encounters festival of interactive performance, showcasing the edgiest, most up-and-coming Atlanta artists or ensembles working in interactive/immersive performance.
Michael has received multiple grants for his original productions from the Jim Henson Foundation (’07, ’10, ’11), Irish Consulate (‘13), Puppeteers of America (’07, ’09), and Meet the Composer Foundation (’07), and performed at the 2009 and 2011 National Puppetry Festival. In 2010 Michael was given a Certificate of Recognition for ‘Outstanding’ Puppet Theater Design by the Arlyn Award Society, and later that year received the New Generations Future Leaders grant from TCG, identifying ‘exceptionally talented theatre professionals who will impact the field in a positive way’. In 2012 Michael was named a Princess Grace Foundation-USA fellow. In 2013 Michael was awarded a MacDowell Colony residency, and in 2014 a residency at Yaddo. Michael has written and directed his original productions for the Alliance Theatre, Actor’s Express, Dad’s Garage Theatre, the High Museum of Art, and Kennesaw State University.