Michael Mackenzie, Great Ideas
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Michael Mackenzie, Great Ideas

Michael Mackenzie is a Canadian film director, screenwriter, playwright and dramaturge. He has been teaching the Great Ideas class to the Playwriting program students since he created it ten years ago.

Michael’s latest play, Instructions to any future socialist government wishing to abolish Christmas, opened in its French translation (Instructions pour un éventuel gouvernement socialiste qui souhaiterait abolir la fête de Noël) at Montreal’s Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in the fall of 2013. It was commissioned by Crow’s Theatre, Toronto and first produced at the Centaur Theatre in March 2011 as a co-production with Crow’s.

His plays have been staged in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Portugal, France and England as well as Canada, and variously published in English, French, German and Hungarian.

Michael's first feature film as a writer/director was The Baroness and the Pig, an adaptation of his eponymous play. It was selected for the Toronto International Film Festival (2002), Sundance Film Festival (2003), San Francisco Film Festival (2003) and closed the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal 2002).

His second feature film as director was Adam's Wall. Co-written with Dana Schoel, it premiered at Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema (2008) and went on to a number of international festivals in the Czech Republic, Japan, Portugal and the USA. Both films were theatrically released in Canada.

Michael Mackenzie first worked with Robert Lepage as one of the writers on the film Le Polygraphe (1996), adapted from Lepage’s and Marie Brassard’s play of the same name. He was dramaturge for Elseneur in 1997 and, most recently, translator/adaptor for Lepage’s Dragon Bleu (Blue Dragon). Michael was dramaturge for the Cirque du Soleil show Ka, also directed by Robert Lepage and currently playing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Michael Mackenzie is presently writer-in-residence for Halifax’s 2B Theatre and working on a new script, provisionally titled A Kind of Reminiscence, for production in 2015.

Photo: Globe and Mail