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Michael Menendian

Michael Menendian grew up in Boston, where he studied theatre at Tufts University and the University of Massachusetts Boston. While in Boston, he started writing sketch comedy pieces that he performed with various street theatre performers as well as in comedy night clubs. He moved to Chicago in 1979, where he studied improv at Second City with Del Close and Paul Sills. In 1983, he co-founded Raven Theatre Company in Chicago, where he currently serves as producing artistic director. In 1997, the company established a children’s theatre performance program, for which he co-adapted Aesop’s Fables. This project was followed by adaptations of other children’s literature, including The Princess and the Pea, Pepito’s Story, Walter the Wolf, The Raven and Elephant and Crocodile, as well as an original work, The Happiest Day of My Life. In 2011, Menendian and John Weagly co-wrote a radio play, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Goose, an adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. Two years later it was readapted as a full theatrical script. At Raven Theatre, Menendian has directed numerous award-winning productions for more than 30 years. He is the recipient of multiple After Dark Awards, as well as nine Joseph Jefferson awards in Chicago theatre, including direction, set design and “Outstanding Contribution to Chicago Theatre” (2008). Menendian lives in Chicago with his wife, JoAnn Montemurro (co-founder and co-artistic director of Raven Theatre) and daughter, Sophia.

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