Michael Hillyer was an Associate Director at Blue Heron Arts Center (Twelfth Night, As You Like It, The Rivals, O’Neill), the 29th Street Rep (Buffalo Kill, Coyote Ugly, Single And Proud), and the Wings Theatre Company (Space Trek, The Poodle Sisters, Stars & Stripes, The Great American Backstage Musical). He has directed elsewhere in New York at Playhouse 91, Irish Arts Center, Nat Horne Theatre, Douglas Fairbanks Theatre (Gazelle Boy starring Jimmy Smits and Grayson Hall), Theatre For The New City, William Redfield Theatre, Altered Stages and The Duplex (Critical Condition). He was a Visiting Guest Director at Seton Hall University (Woyzeck) and has also directed at Columbia University (Twelfth Night) and Cornell University (Wild Oats, The Hostage, Getting Out). He directed and co-authored Slasher, the Splatter Rock Musical, which had an extended, sold-out run at the American Renaissance Theatre, and which was revived at the Perry Street Theatre Off-Broadway in a production choreographed by Susan Stroman. Productions elsewhere include the Thomaston Opera House, Millbrook Summer Playhouse, the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH and the Palace Theatre in Stamford, CT, The Bushnell, John Drew Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, Nutmeg Summer Playhouse, Hartford Opera, and Westchester’s Broadway Theatre.
Michael was cast in his first show at the age of 13 (Sweet Charity), at the age of 20 worked on the National Tour of Forty Carats starring Ginger Rogers, and later the National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Robert Corff, and went on to appear in over 50 productions in a dozen years of summer stock and other regional theatre work.
Michael is a 1979 graduate of Eastern Connecticut State College with a degree in English Literature, and in 1982 received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from the Theatre Arts Department at Cornell University. He is a long-time member of the Society of Directors & Choreographers (SDC), and is a current member of the American Theatre Critics Association. He has written articles about New York Theatre for The Village Voice and Backstage Magazine and has been a theatre critic for the New York Theater Guide since 2013.