Leadership

 

(Photo courtesy of Julie Denesha)

 

Michael Grayman-Parkhurst  is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Spinning Tree Theatre. In addition to co-producing each Spinning Tree show, Michael has directed Kansas City premieres of The Nance, Casa Valentina, Assassins,13, Violet, Ghost-Writer, Hello Again, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As told by Himself), The Year of Magical Thinking and Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finnin addition to Finian’s Rainbow, Nine, Amadeus,West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, A Little Night Music, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Master Class and The Fantasticks. In addition, Michael and Andrew Grayman-Parkhurst received permission from the Jerome Robbins Foundation to reproduce the original West Side Story choreography for Spinning Tree’s 2015 production: the first all-local professional production of this show.

Additional Kansas City credits include directing the Mark Edelman/Theater League-produced 2018 summer production of The Wizard of Oz, utilizing kids from Variety KC; two seasons directing Variety KC’s Variety Show at The Midland Theatre; and directing both seasons of Starlight Children’s Theatre at the Kauffman Center.

Michael assistant directed Ireland’s Druid Theatre Company Artistic Director Garry Hynes (the first woman to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play) on the 2007 Broadway revival of Brian Friel’s Translations. Also in New York City, Michael directed Leftbank Bookseller at Barrow Stree Theatre, Chinadoll Overdrive for Summer Play Festival, and assisted director Thomas Caruso on the New York Fringe Festival production of Zombie, based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novella.

Michael studied directing and producing at Princeton’s famed McCarter Theatre Center as assistant director to such notables as Kent Gash on Tarell McCraney’s The Brothers Size, David Catlin on Lookingglass Alice and Artistic Director Emily Mann on her world premiere production of Mrs. Packard, which Michael assisted in transferring to The Kennedy Center. Michael also directed for McCarter Theatre’s YouthInk! playwriting festival.

As an actor, Broadway national tour credits include the 40thAnniversary Broadway tour of West Side Story (supervised by librettist Arthur Laurents and original director/choreographer Jerome Robbins), the 40thAnniversary European Tour of West Side Story(supervised by original cast member Alan Johnson), The King and I and Mamma Mia! Michael performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, in The Music Man at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and in the Los Angeles productions of Ray Bradbury’s Frost and Fire starring Michael York and The Fantasticks as Matt.

Additional performing credits include Candlewood Playhouse and Gateway Playhouse (The King and I) and Music Theatre North (Joseph…Dreamcoat, Oliver!, West Side Story, Anything Goes). Television credits include “General Hospital,” “Port Charles” and pilot “Eli’s Theory.”

Michael is a graduate of the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory. Michael teaches acting to young and emerging artists. Michael is a 23-year member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Andrew Grayman-Parkhurst is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Spinning Tree Theatre. In addition to co-producing each Spinning Tree show, Andrew directed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Motherhood Out Loud, and choreographed Once on this IslandFinian’s Rainbow, Nine, Fiddler on the Roof, Violet, A Little Night Music, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Hello Again and The Fantasticks. In addition, Andrew and Michael Grayman-Parkhurst received permission from the Jerome Robbins Foundation to reproduce the original West Side Story choreography for Spinning Tree’s 2015 production: the first all-local professional production of this show.

Additional Kansas City credits include choreography for the Mark Edelman/Theater League-produced 2018 summer production of The Wizard of Oz, utilizing kids from Variety KC; two season of co-directing Variety KC’s Variety Show at The Midland Theatre; choreography for both seasons of Starlight Children’s Theatre’s at the Kauffman Center; and choreography for The Coterie Theatre, New Theatre Restaurant, The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center and Theatre in the Park.

In New York City, Andrew’s choreography was seen at Columbia University (Michael John LaChiusa’s The Wild Party in a graduate thesis production directed by Saheem Ali and supervised by the writer); New York Musical Theatre Festival (Wood, directed by Thomas Caruso); 59E59 Theater; and Penguin Rep.

Andrew was assistant choreographer to Tony Award-winning choreographer Rob Ashford on the Broadway production of Curtains(on which he also worked with composer and Kansas City native John Kander, director Scott Ellis, writer Rupert Holmes and actors David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk). He was Dance Captain/Swing on the Broadway tour of Mamma Mia!for more than 2,000 performances, maintaining the production under the supervision of the original creative team. He had the honor of being directed by Roman Polanski in the original Vienna production of Tanz der Vampire as Dance Soloist, was chosen and directed by Alvin Ailey at age 16 to dance Memoria, and performed on the 2009 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall.

A veteran of the national tour of the musical Chicago, Andrew also played Milan, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich and Frankfurt on the 40thAnniversary European Tour of West Side Story, staged by original cast member Alan Johnson.

Andrew performed at many top regional theatres including Paper Mill Playhouse (Call Me Madam starring Leslie Uggams), North Shore Music Theatre (La Cage aux Folles, West Side Story), Tennessee Repertory Theatre (West Side Story, under the baton of Maestro Kenneth Schermerhorn – a production that was preserved on the Naxos recording label), Starlight Theatre (seven productions total) and many others.

A graduate of Texas Christian University’s acclaimed dance department, Andrew was President of the Alpha Chapter of Chi Tau Epsilon (the dance honor society), co-founded TCU’s LGBT Alliance and co-founded the AIDS Outreach Center Benefit Concert, now in its 26thyear. As a Young Artist Scholar at the American Dance Festival, Andrew studied with modern dance greats Donald McKayle, Stuart Hodes and Daniel Nagrin and was awarded scholarship to The Paul Taylor School. Andrew studied dance with David Hochoy (Martha Graham Dance Company), Brenda Daniels (Merce Cunningham Studio), Holly Williams (Mark Morris Dance Group), Bruce Wood (Twyla Tharp Dance) Li-Chou Cheng (Central Beijing Ballet) and Chuck Davis (African American Dance Ensemble).

Andrew created the dance program at Princeton Day School in Princeton, New Jersey and is a graduate of Nonprofit Connect’s Executive Director Institute. He teaches dance to young and emerging artists, musical theatre audition technique and performance to all ages, and is a 22-year member of Actors’ Equity Association.