is a Brooklyn-based, Obie Award winning director of new plays.
Michael's directing credits include I’ll Never Love Again (a chamber piece) by Clare Barron at the Bushwick Starr (Obie Award for Direction, 2016; NYT and Time Out Critics’ Picks), Salesman之死 and the One More Way Files at the 14th Street Y, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel with Drum Tower West Theater in Beijing, Lost Tribe by Alex Borinsky as part of Target Margin’s Yiddish Theater Lab, The Subtle Body by Megan Campisi at 59E59 Theaters and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, and other projects with LMCC, The Flea, the Lark Play Development Center, The Civilians, EST, and NYU/Tisch.
Michael has assistant directed at Signature Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theatre, P73, and American Theater Company. He is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, as well as a former Fulbright Fellow, SDCF Kurt Weill Fellow, and Drama League Fall Directing Fellow.
Michael graduated from Yale as a double major in Theater Studies and East Asian Studies and completed his Masters in Performance Studies at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Michael is the founder of Gung Ho Projects, an performance and educational exchange platform dedicated to increasing understanding between the U.S. and China. For more info see www.leibenluft.com and www.gunghoprojects.com