About Michael

Michael Oliver has been working in the fields of theatre and education for well over thirty years at not only the secondary and university levels, but professionally, as the co-founder of The Sanctuary Theatre, Inc. Established in 1983, the theatre became well-known throughout the Washington area for its cutting-edge productions. He is now the Director of Sanctuary's The Performing Knowledge Project: where performance and education meet.

Film Review: ‘Les Misérables’

Musical theatre fans of Les Misérables beware! The film you are about to see will resemble the famous musical in score only. To be sure, the text will be quite familiar and the song lyrics pretty much the same; but the epic narrative, based on Victor Hugo’s ground breaking novel of the … Continue reading

Behind the Fourth Wall: I’ve got a Barn. Let’s put on ‘A Christmas Carol’ or ‘The Nutcracker’ or…

Now let me play the holiday season’s favorite character—Scrooge! That’s the bah humbug part, not the money grubbing, no time off for family and friends part, the part that asks: “Does Washington really need all of these Christmas shows? I mean—really?”. It’s bad enough that TV has begun airing its … Continue reading

Theatre News: The Aesthetics of a Theatrical Dollar (or $100+ dollars)

Theatre critics never mention the cost of a ticket when we write our reviews, almost as if price doesn’t matter and the aesthetics of theatre operate independent of budget and cost. Maybe that’s because we critics don’t pay for tickets, so we never leave a show saying: “I just paid … Continue reading

News: Who Says Washington Doesn’t Have Political Theatre?

Not that Washington has ever been a hot bed for political theatre—Hair didn’t even come to the National until 1970, two years after its Broadway premiere in 1968—but in Fall 2012 there is a decided lack of almost anything political resembling a play. Sure, Molly Ivins and an utterly sanitized Janis Joplin entertain us at … Continue reading