Professor of Theatre and Drama
M.F.A. in Acting, Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory
B.A., University of California-Irvine
Appointed to IU in 2004
Jonathan R. Michaelsen is Chair the Department of Theatre and Drama and Producing Artistic Director of the Indiana Festival Theatre. Professor Michaelsen has directed and acted in numerous professional and collegiate productions, including King Lear, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Sweeney Todd, Angels in America and Uncle Vanya. At Indiana University Michaelsen has directed A Clean House, The Scarlet Letter, Arcadia, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and the world première of Reel, which was selected for regional honors by the American College Theatre Festival. He has had four productions selected for presentation at regional American College Theatre Festivals, with the world premiere production of Southern Girls receiving national recognition.
For the Brown County Playhouse, Michaelsen directed The Glass Menagerie, The Importance of Being Earnest, Arms and the Man and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has also directed the opera L’Orfeo for the Bloomington Early Music Festival and the Jacobs School of Music.
Before coming to Indiana University Michaelsen was Associate Dean for Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of Alabama. He also served as head of the graduate and undergraduate Acting programs in the Department of Theatre and Dance for ten years. He was instrumental in creating a professional theatre for the University of Alabama and directed its inaugural production.
Michaelsen spearheaded the creation of the new musical theatre BFA degree program at IU and produced Premiere Musicals: Developing New Works of Musical Theatre at Indiana University which is now in its fifth season. In 2007 he received a CAHI grant to vocal coach a production of the Tempest in South Africa. Active in the Southeastern Theatre Conference since 1991, he served for a number of years on the executive committee and as president from 2003-2004. Michaelsen was awarded a teaching grant for the development of theatre curriculum for secondary school educators and received a Druid Arts Educator of the Year Award. Michaelsen also received a state of Alabama arts award for his contributions to theatre.
Professor Michaelsen currently serves on the Board of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.