Michael Barnard is currently entering his 20th season as The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Producing Artistic Director. Barnard is also the head of The Phoenix Theatre Company’s New Works Incubator, which assists in the development of new plays and musicals.
He is the co-author and director of ¡Americano! after recently directing West Side Story and Cookin’s a Drag for The Phoenix Theatre Company. Barnard, who has a master’s degree in theatre from Northwestern University and a fine arts degree from Arizona State University, was a senior show director for The Walt Disney Company. Barnard’s nine-year tenure with Disney included producing stage productions of Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Barnard has directed more than 560 productions and more than 1,000 special events. He has directed and choreographed for Disneyland, Universal, Osaka Japan, Donny and Marie Xmas Show, 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, National Tour of Veggie Tales, Childsplay, San Jose Rep, PCPA, Santa Barbra CLO, Arkansas Repertory, Phoenix Theatre Company and many more.
He received National Arts and Letters Award for outstanding contribution to the field of Musical Theatre in 2011 and was named Artist of the Year by the Governor’s Art Awards in 2008. He has honored with the Leadership in Arts Award from the YWCA, the Arts Leader Award from the Phoenix Boys Choir and in 2018 won the Ellis Island Medal of Honor award for his commitments to tolerance and diversity.