Michael Rau is a live performance director specializing in new plays, opera, and digital media projects. He has worked internationally in Germany, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the Czech Republic. He has created work in New York City at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, PS122, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, The Brick, 59E59, 3LD, and Dixon Place. Regionally, his work as been seen at Humana Festival of New Plays at Actor's Theater of Louisville, the Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland OH, and the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA. He has developed new plays at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Realm, the Lark and the Kennedy Center. His production of "temping" was selected by the Telegraph as one of the best shows to see in 2022 International and Edinburgh Fringe. Michael Rau is a recipient of fellowships from the Likhachev Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the National New Play Network. As a creative technologist, he is recipient of Google's "Artist and Machine Intelligence" research awards, and works on pose detection, computer vision and biofeedback. He has been a resident artist at the Orchard Project, E|MERGE, and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. He has been an associate director for Anne Bogart, Les Waters, Robert Woodruff, and Ivo Van Hove. He is a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and an assistant professor of directing and devising at Stanford University.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor, Theater and Performance Studies

Administrative Appointments

  • Artistic Director, TAPS (2018 - Present)

Professional Education

  • BA, Wesleyan University, Theater (2005)
  • MFA, Columbia University, School of the Arts, Theater Directing (2008)

Research Interests

  • Technology and Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I am a live performance creator and director. I direct theater, musicals, opera, and I create digital media projects. I am always looking for new projects and interdisciplinary collaborations. I am interested in ways that technology can be used to tell stories, in virtual reality and games, and in live performance situations. I have created immersive theater pieces, and I enjoy working with new playwrights and writers to develop and shape their work.

2022-23 Courses

All Publications