MICHAEL LIPP has called Jacksonville home since moving to Northeast Florida in 1984 from Connecticut, where this Yankee was born and bred. Michael has directed and performed in over 75 local productions during those 30-plus years at most of the area's community, educational, and professional theatres. His critically-acclaimed direction has been seen at Theatre Jacksonville, Players by the Sea, Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre, The 5 & Dime, Orange Park Community Theatre, and Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine, among others. Michael also directed Peter Pan and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying for the FSCJ Wilson Center's Summer Musical Theatre Experience. During the day, he is a charter faculty member at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he has taught Math, Science, and Musical Theatre, and currently teaches Honors and AP Physics. Although he's "show people" at heart, Michael received his Master's degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University. In his spare time (and when he's not at the theatre as a director, actor, or audience member!), Michael enjoys reading, film, and writing. His work as a budding playwright has received a number of public readings and two of his one-acts placed in local playwriting competitions. Michael looks forward to spreading the good word about the talented folks of the Jacksonville theatre scene on BroadwayWorld.com!
In the summer of 2009, local businessman Craig Smith took a huge gamble on Jacksonville's failing Alhambra Dinner Theatre, which had decided to close its doors after 42 years of production. The longest-running professional dinner theatre in the country had, for a number of reasons (not the least of which being the poor economy in the late 2000's) seen its subscription base drop from a peak of about 4,500 to 500 and struggle to fill even half the house at discounted prices.BWW Interview: Jason Woods Explores Humanity of Scrooge in Solo Show December 13, 2016
Under normal circumstances, it wouldn't be a bad problem to have. During rehearsals for the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts' production of the Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry musical PARADE, director and Theatre Department Co-Chair David Loudermilk realized his student cast would need some hard lessons on embodying the intense negative feelings of prejudice. 'I think it's an interesting balance,' Loudermilk comments. 'With this generation being so open and accepting and understanding of things - especially here at DA - it's hard for the kids to go to the 'other side' of it. They're struggling with getting angry. They just don't know how.'BWW Preview: The Puppets Take Players by the Sea in HAND TO GOD November 1, 2016
Ernest Thompson's 1979 ON GOLDEN POND is an ode to the durability of love and family in the face of aging, loss, and miscommunication. Amelia Community Theatre has just opened a touching production of the Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning play which became a critically-acclaimed film two years later starring Katharine Hepburn and the father-and-daughter team of Henry and Jane Fonda. Helmed by veteran director Toni D'Amico, ACT's trip to Golden Pond is a lovely, welcoming experience that effectively balances both sides of this bittersweet comedy-drama.BWW Feature: New Theatre Jacksonville Technical Director Designs Austen September 26, 2016
Jon Jory's adaptation of Jane Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE posed significant scenic and lighting design challenges for Theatre Jacksonville's new Technical Director, Tim Watson. 'You've got about 25 locations and you can literally change from one to another on a single line,' Watson explains. 'There's no way you can do full sets for each location, but it's written that way - to be minimal. It's difficult to jump between so many locations and be so fast and so fluid. Jon Jory didn't want black-out scene changes, so it's more of an environment rather than actual locations.' Director Amy Canning agrees and calls the show 'very minimalist, but seriously complex with lots of moving parts and pieces.'BWW Preview: Territory Folks Welcome Audiences to Limelight's 25th Season September 26, 2016
Audiences at Limelight's 25th season opener will be treated to a cozier, more down-home OKLAHOMA! on their intimate mainstage, but that's by design. Executive Director, Beth Lambert, who also directs this production of the landmark Pulitzer Prize-winning Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, didn't want this to be the 'show that you do to pay for the other shows in your season.' It's a show that she has always wanted to do since performing with her mother in a summer stock production when Lambert was in fifth grade. However, Lambert thought it was too large of a production for the Limelight space.BWW Interview: St. Augustine Playwright Brings THREADS OF SILVER AND GOLD Home to Panama August 29, 2016
While St. Augustine playwright, Deborah Dickey, was in Central America researching her new play about the role of women in the construction of the Panama Canal called THREADS OF SILVER AND GOLD, a chance meeting with a new friend would open up an exciting and totally unexpected opportunity.BWW Preview: ABET Launches 25th Season With THE WAVERLY GALLERY August 11, 2016
'It's been such an exciting trip. It's just kind of amazing to think that we've been around this long.' Carson Merry Baillie, Founder of Atlantic Beach Experimental Theater (ABET), waxes nostalgic as she speaks about the community theatre she founded in 1992. In honor of ABET's 25th season beginning in September, ABET is presenting a staged reading of Kenneth Lonergan's THE WAVERLY GALLERY, which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. The production is directed by long-time ABET actor and director Jack Barnard, who will also supply the narration for the evening's reading.BWW Review: MEMPHIS Tears Down the House in Jacksonville Beach August 8, 2016
It's a thrilling experience for an audience when the curtain opens and there is an explosion of pure energy that grabs you and does not let go until the curtain call. The musical MEMPHIS has exploded on the stage of Players by the Sea Theatre in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, garnering much deserved praise, sold-out houses, and spontaneous standing ovations that begin even before the final number has finished.