Michael Willis

Mike studied theatre arts with an emphasis on acting at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. His professional acting credits include seventeen seasons of regional theatre, thirteen of those with either the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival Theatre Company or the South Dakota Shakespeare Company, where he also taught play writing workshops for youth. Mike has been the recipient of numerous directing, acting, and writing awards. In 1990 he was recognized for his contributions to the arts in secondary education by the Southwest Wisconsin Educational Alliance. Mike is a nine-time winner of the Wauwatosa Village Playhouse’s One-Act Playwriting Competition, a competition for Wisconsin writers, where his play, The Runaway, enjoyed a three week run in 2015 and was voted favorite script and favorite production. A U.S. army veteran, Mike’s Vietnam agent-orange drama, Who Said Life Was Fair, won the 1995 Wisconsin Section of the American Association of Community Theatre’s AACT-FEST Play Competition and was a runner-up at the Region III level. The author of over fifty plays, Mike’s works have varied from adult Vietnam War dramas to teen awareness plays and Shakespearean spoofs. He currently has thirty-five plays in publication. His plays have been presented throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and numerous international schools. Many of his teen awareness plays have received awards in high school play contests. Mike has worked as a high school drama director and was the Artistic and Technical Director for the former Main Street Player’s Theatre Co. of Galena Illinois. During his career, Mike has directed over one hundred plays and presented workshops on set and light design, directing and play writing. Mike and his wife Sandy, split their time between their hometown of Platteville, Wisconsin and their winter home in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

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  Antigone, 1865

Drama by Michael Willis

36 pages

5 m, 5 w, extras

The classic Greek tragedy by Sophocles is moved to the fictional Fort Thebes at the end of the U.S. Civil War. The new fort commander, Col. Creon, proclaims that one of Antigone's brothers, loyal to the Union, will be buried a hero. Her other brother, loyal to the South, will be left unburied. Anyone defying these orders will be shot by a firing squad. Fierce, yet calmly determined, Antigone tries to provide a decent burial for her "traitorous" brother. When she is caught, Creon sentences her to death. But other soldiers, an old fortune-teller, and even his o...

  Sorry, Shakespeare!

Comedy by Michael Willis

20 pages

2 m, 2 w

Four high school students report to the school auditorium for play rehearsal only to find out the director is not coming. To add to the confusion, one of the cast members has dropped three rehearsal scripts, of which all the pages are unbound and unnumbered. The pages fly everywhere. No problem! - unless the scripts are "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew," and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." As one of the students quips, "We don't know anything about Shakespeare, but it all sounds the same anyway, so grab some pages." The mayhem that results will have you wonde...