Michael Kantor was the Artistic Director of Malthouse Theatre from 2005 to 2010.
For Malthouse Theatre credits include SLEEPING BEAUTY, THE HAM FUNERAL, NOT LIKE BECKETT, JOURNAL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR, BABES IN THE WOODS, the Wesfarmers Arts Commission THE ODYESSY for the Melbourne and Perth International Arts Festivals, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (with Victorian Opera), VAMP, WOYZECK, OPTIMISM (with STC, Sydney Festival and Edinburgh International Festival), HAPPY DAYS, ELIZABETH – ALMOST BY CHANCE A WOMAN, THE THREEPENNY OPERA (with STC), and A GOLEM STORY.
Michael’s work as a director covers several fields, including devising of new works, including RAPTURE for 2021 Sydney Festival; EXCAVATION for the 1996 Adelaide Festival and NATURAL LIFE for the 1998 Adelaide Festival and Playbox Theatre Company. He has directed several new plays including LENZ for the 1996 Melbourne International Arts Festival, MEAT PARTY for Playbox and HOWARD KATZ for the Sydney Theatre Company. Among classic dramatic works, Michael has directed THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE, MACBETH, THE HAM FUNERAL and UBU for Belvoir St Theatre.
He has also worked with opera, directing THE BURROW for the 1994 Perth Festival and, for the 2000 Adelaide Festival, MOON SPIRIT FEASTING, which later toured to Melbourne, Berlin, Zurich and Tokyo. Michael directed Chunky Move’s 2003 Melbourne Festival production TENSE DAVE, which toured to the Sydney and Perth festivals and New York, and has collaborated with Barrie Kosky’s Gilgul Theatre, performing in THE DYBBUK, ES BRENT, THE WILDERNESS ROOM and THE OPERATED JEW.
Michael’s first feature film THE BOY CASTAWAYS premiered at the Adelaide International Film Festival in October 2015, starring Tim Rogers, Paul Capsis, Megan Washington and Mark Leonard Winter. The film is a haunting ode to the precarious magic of the stage and the soul-shaping power of music. Michael then adapted King Lear into two Indigenous languages for a new stage production, THE SHADOW KING, that premiered at the Malthouse Theatre, and for which Michael was awarded The Helpmann Award for direction. It later toured to Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, and London.
In 2016 Michael directed MEOW MEOW’S LITTLE MERMAID (for Malthouse Theatre/Sydney/Perth/Auckland International Arts Festivals) to great acclaim.
In 2019 Michael directed the Australian premiere of LAZARUS, with music by David Bowie, for the Production Company at the Arts Centre Melbourne.