Michael Cristofer

Birth Place: Trenton, NJ, USA

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Michael Cristofer BIO

Michael Cristofer is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He was born on January 22, 1945, in Trenton, New Jersey. Cristofer attended the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He later went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama.

Cristofer made his Broadway debut in 1977 with his play "The Shadow Box," which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play explores the lives of three terminally ill patients and their families as they come to terms with death. Cristofer's play was also adapted into a television movie, which won five Emmy Awards.

In addition to his success as a playwright, Cristofer has also had a successful career as a screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for the 1985 film "Falling in Love," which starred Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1994 film "The Bonfire of the Vanities," which was based on the novel by Tom Wolfe.

Cristofer has also appeared in a number of films and television shows throughout his career. He had a recurring role on the television series "Rubicon" in 2010 and has also appeared on "American Horror Story," "Ray Donovan," and "Mr. Robot." Cristofer has also appeared in films such as "The Witches of Eastwick," "Die Hard with a Vengeance," and "The Shadow Box."

Despite his success in film and television, Cristofer has always remained connected to the theater. In 2006, he returned to Broadway to star in the revival of Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge." Cristofer played the role of Alfieri, a lawyer who serves as the play's narrator. The production was well-received by critics and earned several Tony Award nominations.

Cristofer has also had success as a director. He directed the 1997 film "Original Sin," which starred Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie. He also directed the 2001 film "Gia," which starred Jolie in the title role. The film tells the story of Gia Carangi, a supermodel who died of AIDS in the 1980s.

In addition to his work in theater, film, and television, Cristofer is also a poet. His collection of poems, "The Glass House," was published in 1981. The collection explores themes of love, loss, and mortality.

Cristofer has received numerous awards and nominations throughout his career. In addition to his Pulitzer Prize for "The Shadow Box," he has also won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in "The Shadow Box." He has also been nominated for several Emmy Awards for his work in television.

In addition to his work as a writer and actor, Cristofer is also a professor. He has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at the Columbia University School of the Arts.

Cristofer's work has had a significant impact on American theater and film. His plays and screenplays have explored complex themes and characters, and his performances as an actor have been praised for their depth and nuance. Cristofer's contributions to the arts have earned him a place among the most respected and talented artists of his generation.

Michael Cristofer Photos

Michael Cristofer STAGE CREDITS

MCC Theater Production, 2012

Public Theater & Signature Theatre Company Co-Production, 2011

Broadway Revival, 2010



Lord Capulet


Bela Veracek


Trofimov, Petr Sergeyevich

Michael Cristofer Productions

[Broadway, 1981]



Michael Cristofer Awards and Nominations

Drama League Awards - 2012 - Distinguished Performance Award

Michael Cristofer, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures

Obie Awards - 1980 - Performance

Michael CristoferChinchilla

Drama Desk Awards - 1977 - Best New American Play

Michael Cristofer, The Shadow Box

Theatre World Awards - 1977 - Performance

Michael Cristofer, The Cherry Orchard

Tony Awards - 1977 - Best Play

Michael Cristofer, The Shadow Box

Michael Cristofer Videos

Michael Cristofer News

Video: Justin Austin Sings 'What Makes a Man a Man' From CHAMPION at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago has released video footage of Justin Austin performing 'What Makes a Man a Man' from Terence Blanchard's CHAMPION below. Ahead of his fateful fight with Benny 'Kid' Paret, Emile Griffith finds himself torn between societal expectations and the desire to be his true self. Watch the performance here!

CHAMPION, HIGHWAY PATROL & More Lead Chicago's February 2024 Top Picks

Chicago is never lacking outstanding theatre, whether epic Broadway shows, engrossing dramas or bold fringe offerings. BroadwayWorld is rounding up our top recommended theatre every month. February 2024's top picks include Lyric Opera's Champion, Cinderella, Goodman's Highway Patrol and more.

Video: Get A First Look At Lyric Opera of Chicago's Production of Blanchard's CHAMPION

The music of Terence Blanchard has returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago with his first opera: Champion, an 'opera in jazz' inspired by the true story of boxer Emile Griffith, a professional boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands who threw a fatal punch in the boxing ring in 1962. Get a first look at the production in an all-new trailer!

Photos: First Look at CHAMPION at Lyric Opera of Chicago

The music of Terence Blanchard has returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago with his first opera: Champion, an 'opera in jazz' inspired by the true story of boxer Emile Griffith, a professional boxer from the U.S. Virgin Islands who threw a fatal punch in the boxing ring in 1962. Check out production photos here!

Video: Associate Choreographer Christopher Jackson Explores The Dance in Lyric Opera's CHAMPION

In an all-new video, Associate Choreographer Christopher Jackson discusses the gumbo of dance found in Terence Blanchard's CHAMPION.

VIDEO: Director James Robinson on Blanchard's CHAMPION

Learn about the world champion boxer and see how his story inspired Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard's first foray into opera in this interview with director James Robinson in an all-new video.

What You Need to Know About Blanchard and Cristofer's CHAMPION at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago is presenting the Lyric premiere of Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning librettist Michael Cristofer’s knockout opera Champion. Learn more about this opera!

Photos: First Look at Chicago Lyric Opera's THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

Check out production photos from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, running September 23 to October 7, 2023 here!

Tony Nominee Rose Gregorio Passes Away at 97

Rose Gregorio, a Tony nominee for her performance in The Shadow Box, has passed away at the age of 97. 

What You Need to Know About Wagner's THE FLYING DUTCHMAN at The Lyric Opera of Chicago

Get all the details about the upcoming performance of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman at The Lyric Opera of Chicago. From the storyline to the cast, this guide is a must-read for opera lovers and fans of Wagner's work.

Lyric Opera of Chicago to Present SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH LYRIC, a Free Family-Friendly Event

Lyric Opera of Chicago is ushering in the 2023/24 cultural season on a high note with Sunday in the Park with Lyric, an evening of beautiful music led by Enrique Mazzola.

Teen-Driven Theater Company YATC to Present TREVOR, INDECENT & More This Summer

YATC, a completely teen-driven theater company with productions in the Seattle area is presenting its 16th season at Theatre 4 in Seattle Center.

Single Tickets for Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2023/24 Season on Sale Tomorrow

Single tickets go on sale tomorrow — Thursday, June 15 at 10 a.m. CT — for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s compelling 2023/24 Season.

Christina Anderson Wins 2023 Steinberg/ATCA Award for THE RIPPLE, THE WAVE THAT CARRIED ME HOME

Playwright Christina Anderson has won the 2023 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for her play the ripple, the wave that carried me home.

Video: Who Will Win the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama? Watch Live at 3pm!

The Pulitzer Prize Board will present the 2023 award winners for Prizes in Journalism, Books, Drama and Music. Who will win this year? Tune in right here at 3pm to watch the announcement live!

Sanaz Toossi's ENGLISH Wins 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The Pulitzer Prize Board has just announced that English, by Sanaz Toossi has won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other finalists included: On Sugarland by Aleshea Harris and The Far Country by Lloyd Suh.

Review: The Met Welcomes the Next Generation at Its Laffont Competition

While there’s always a great deal of talk about where the next generation of operagoers is coming from, there’s much less hand-wringing about the sources of the new generation of singers. After hearing the Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition’s Grand Finals Concert at the Met on Sunday afternoon, we could plainly hear that the future of the Met roster is alive and well and waiting to take center stage.

Portland Opera Presents ABSENCE, A One-Night-Only Concert Featuring Jazz Great and Celebrated Opera Composer Terence Blanchard

On May 26, 2023, Portland Opera will welcome jazz great and celebrated opera and film composer Terence Blanchard to the company with a special one-night-only concert “Absence.'

Up Until Now Collective Announces Upcoming Spring Performances And Screenings

Recently profiled by The New York Times and ABC World News, UP UNTIL NOW COLLECTIVE, a New York City-based Artist Collective that develops and produces new multi-ethnic and multilingual interdisciplinary work, has announced the lineup of their Spring 2023 projects:

Review Roundup: Terence Blanchard's CHAMPION at the Metropolitan Opera

Following its Metropolitan Opera premiere on April 10th, Terence Blanchard's opera Champion, based on the true story of the troubled former middleweight boxing champion Emile Griffith, continues with nine performances running through May 13.


Michael Cristofer has appeared on Broadway in 3 shows.

Michael Cristofer has not appeared in the West End.

Michael Cristofer has been nominated for several awards throughout his career. These include the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League Awards for his work in "The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures," a Performance nomination from the Obie Awards for "Chinchilla," a nomination for Best New American Play from the Drama Desk Awards for "The Shadow Box," and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama nomination for "The Shadow Box." He also received a Performance nomination from the Theatre World Awards for "The Cherry Orchard" and a nomination for Best Play from the Tony Awards for "The Shadow Box."

Michael Cristofer has won several awards for his work in the theater industry. He received an Obie Award for his performance in the play "Chinchilla." Additionally, Cristofer was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play "The Shadow Box." He also received a Theatre World Award for his performance in "The Cherry Orchard." Furthermore, Cristofer's play "The Shadow Box" won the Tony Award for Best Play.

Michael Cristofer has written 5 shows including The Shadow Box (Playwright), Black Angel (Playwright), The Lady and the Clarinet (Playwright), Breaking Up (Playwright), The Blues are Running (Playwright).

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