Michael Agnew

Biography: 

Michael Agnew has extensive theatrical training as a director, producer, and performer. He has worked professionally with theaters across the country. Since 1990, he has taught numerous classes and residencies to students Pre-K through adult. Agnew’s current professional work is focused on using theater as a tool for community building. He works extensively with inner-city youth and incarcerated populations to create original performances that explore the issues important to those communities. Currently, he is Artistic Director of GTC Dramatic Dialogues, which tours interactive, issue-based theater programs to colleges. He is also Artistic Director of Groundswell Community Performance in Minneapolis. Agnew is a roster artist with the Minnesota State Arts Board as well as on the Writers and Artists in the Schools roster with COMPAS in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Artistic Statement: 

My work focuses on community-based and interactive theatre practices. The work gives participating community members, whether students or neighborhood residents, a voice with which to tell their own stories and dialogue on their own issues. During my residencies, students tell their stories and collect those of their peers. These stories then become the raw material used to develop a play. Participants and audience members alike see their own lives reflected and elevated to the level of art. I have taught residencies ranging from one week to three months and have experience with students of diverse ethnic backgrounds, as well as with urban, rural, incarcerated, and disabled students. I have trained extensively with the world’s leading practitioners of issue-based and interactive theatre techniques.

Residency Type: 
Individual Artist