Michael Kostroff

director

My goal as a director is always to create the kind of atmosphere that I hope for when I'm working as an actor. I believe in honoring every member of the team as a valuable contributor, because I strongly believe that leads to the best results on stage. I want the process to be joyous, and I want each actor to become the authority on his own role.

 

No matter what style I'm working in, faithful, truthful storytelling is my highest priority. Everything from staging to design elements to scene work must pass that test. I relish logic, simplicity, clarity, focus, and arresting honesty.

with James Beaman

Laughter on the 23rd Floor — Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock, NC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pavilion — Producers Club, New York

A very funny and energetic opener for the Playhouse's [season] . . . 

if ‘Laughter’ sets the bar for quality and energy, Playhouse patrons are in for many treats…The team of comedy writers crack wise, one-up one another and volley insults like a Beijing ping-pong match . . . unmistakable dramatic tension . . . amazing performances by the happy, neurotic and truly funny ensemble.” 

— Bill Moss, Hendersonville Lightning

“Although each [character] gets to stand out, the show’s strength lies in togetherness, when the jokes skip from actor to actor like a smooth stone on a placid lake...

— Katie Winkler, Times-News Correspondent

“Time is a major theme in this wonderfully funny yet introspective revival directed by Michael Kostroff....This time of year, when the leaves are falling off of the trees and the air is getting nippy, it is nice to reminisce. At this reunion Wright and Kostroff provide us with an inspection of time and relationships past. It might be just the show to help you relax as you bring in the hectic family season.” — Shoshana Roberts, Theasy.com

Michael Kostroff’s direction is strongest in the scenes between the two former-lovers, which find Davis exposing raw vulnerability only to be met by Adamo’s measured resistance.”  

— David Levy

Dixie Swim Club - Flat Rock Playhouse

Light and satisfying with a few dollops of pathos to keep it spicy. Director Michael Kostroff knows how to keep the unspooling plot line zipping along like a golf ball heading toward a series of sand traps that swerves at the last minute every time, landing back in the green fairway of supportive friendship. —Bruce C. Steele, Citizen Times

“An absolute laugh riot . . . a sheer Southern crowd- pleaser” —Kai Elijah Hamilton, Mountain Xpress

comments

wish list

 

“Michael's direction was perfection. He not only assembled a great cast, but he brought a passion and a vision to the project which was awe-inspiring to behold. I have been a professional actor since the age of six and have been directed by such industry giants as Arthur Penn and Bobby Lewis. I can honestly say that even among those luminaries, Michael Kostroff is one of the best directors I have ever worked with.” —Bob Ader

 

“He had a clear vision for his production but was able to allow the actors lots of freedom to play and create in the space. It was clear the actors had great respect for him and felt safe in his directorial hands. The end product was clean, hilarious, and had a great arc. ... it was clear to me that he had tremendous talent and an innate sense of the director’s duty to the playwright and the actors, as well as tons of vision. I would highly recommend Michael as a director.”

—Renee Marie Heffel, Stage Manager

 

“Respected by both actors and staff here at our theatre, his attention to all elements of the production was refreshing as was his ability to communicate with his cast exactly what he wanted.  As a result, the production was brilliant—largely due to his direction and casting.” —Preston Dyar, Artistic Associate, Flat Rock Playhouse

 

“‘Mastery’ is a word I would use to describe Michael in all the facets of his considerable talent. Michael is not only expert at all things comedy, he also has a meticulous eye for detail and the nuances of storytelling. But it is Michael’s integrity and his kindness that contribute to the success of his directorial work. Michael loves actors and he loves the work of theatre with an enthusiasm and passion that are contagious!” —James Beaman, actor

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with him. He proved well prepared and insightful as well as thoughtful and responsive to my input as we developed our approach to the show. He clearly articulated what we needed in order to make jokes work, and adjusted his vision, where necessary, in the interest of making the set function in our particular space. I love Michael’s sense of humor, his careful attention to detail, and his willingness to see this production in the context of an entire season.  I hope to work with him again.” —Dennis C. Maulden, set designer

 

“I do not say this lightly, but in my three decades of acting professionally, Michael was one of the finest directors I have ever worked with. He is an actor’s director... Michael’s kinetic energy and theatrical know-how draws you in and makes you feel safe during the rehearsal process.” —Gary Littman, actor

 

“...His passion for every part of his craft is astounding and completely unparalleled. Michael was always completely immersed in everything we were doing, and he was so supportive of all of our individual processes. He fully trusts his cast, and he inspires everyone to be the absolute best version of themselves. If you have any questions at all, you can be sure he's researched all of them and has the most appropriate answers for anything you may throw his way.”

—Adrienne Griffiths, actor

 

“I've been acting on the stage for more than 30 years and I've worked with some pretty big name directors (Susan Stroman, Francesca Zambello, and Jeff Calhoun to name a few), but I have never felt as secure during a rehearsal process as I have under the protective wing of Michael Kostroff. He is without doubt my favorite director.” —Nick Santa Maria, actor

 

“It was not only one of the funniest productions I have ever been in, it was also perhaps the very best direction of a comedy I have ever witnessed. Michael’s knowledge of comedy and attention to detail made the play as good as you will ever see it. He also picked up the slack for the costume designer, who was over-extended. He made several necessary changes that helped greatly in creating the proper look for the show. The next contemporary comedy that I am in, it is my sincere hope that it is directed by Michael Kostroff.” —Michael MacCauley, actor

Musicals:

Triumph of Love

Kiss of  the Spider Woman
The Visit
Urinetown
Great American Backstage Musical

Man of La Mancha

Pacific Overtures

Little Shop of Horrors

The 1940s Radio Hour

Something's Afoot

Sunset Boulevard

The Fantasticks

Plays:

Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Bach at Leipzig (Itamar Moses)

Deathtrap

A History of the American Film (Durang)

The Foreigner

The Nerd
Superior Donuts

Our Town

Amadeus

The Odd Couple

Brighton Beach Memoirs

Broadway Bound

The Sunshine Boys

Harvey

The Royal Family

The Country Girl

Black Snow

Side Man

Interview (Jean Claude Van Italie)