Cornerstone Theater Company


Michael John Garcés

Michael has been a Cornerstone ensemble member since 2006.  Directing credits at the company include The Rivers Don’t Know by James McManus (produced by City Theatre Company at the Pittsburgh Playhouse); Highland Park is Here by Mark Valdez (a virtual production; subsequently presented at the Latino Theatre Company’s “Re:Encuentro 2021”; The Highland Park Independent Film Festival; and the International Community Arts Festival in Singapore & Rotterdam); Native Nation (commissioned and presented by ASU Gammage) and Urban Rez by Larissa FastHorse; California: The Tempest by Alison Carey; Plumas Negras by Juliette Carrillo; Café Vida by Lisa Loomer; and What Happens Next by Naomi Iizuka (a La Jolla Playhouse “Without Walls” production in association with Cornerstone). Plays he has written for Cornerstone include 36 Yesses, a theatrical exploration of commitment, engagement and process; Magic Fruit, the “bridge” project of the multi-year Hunger Cycle which brought together the many communities of the cycle; Consequence, out of story circles with students, teachers, administrators and parents in South Kern County; Los Illegals, created in residence with day laborers and domestic workers; and The Forked Path, a collaboration with the Van der Hoeven Kliniek in the Netherlands, which was performed at the Net Even Anders Festival (Stut Theater) in Utrecht and The International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam. Directing credits at other theaters include The Play You Want by Bernardo Cubria (The Road Theatre); Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance); Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play (The Geffen Playhouse); the just and the blind, by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center and ArtsEmerson); The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Arizona Theatre Company); Epic by Ellen Struve (The Great Plains Theatre Commons); and Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman (Intersection for the Arts. The Guthrie Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre and Philadelphia Theatre Company). His full-length plays include TOWN (Theatre Horizon in Norristown, PA), south (Great Plains Theatre Commons in Omaha), THE WEB (needtheatre), points of departure and customs(INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center) and Acts of Mercy (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); as well as a solo performance, agua ardiente which ran Off-Broadway at The American Place Theatre as part of “Dreaming in Cuban”; and short plays include Las Llamadas and every step (24 Hour Plays: “Viral Monologues”); americanas (Mixed Blood Theatre – “DJ Latinidad’s Latino Dance Party”) and A Parable(Great Plains Theatre Commons). Michael is a recipient of the 2020 Doris Duke Artist Award, the Princess Grace Statue, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Rockwood Arts and Culture Fellowship, a TCG/New Generations Grant, the Non-Profit Excellence Award from the Center of Non-Profit Management, and is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves as executive vice president of the executive board of SDC, the theatrical union for stage directors and choreographers.

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