Michael Mackenzie

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Michael Mackenzie

Michael Mackenzie is a Canadian film director, screenwriter, theatre director, playwright and dramaturge. He has directed two feature films, both theatrically released in Canada. His plays have been staged across Europe and North America and have variously been published in English, French, German and Hungarian.

He has a Ph.D in the Economics and History of Science from L'Université de Montréal. His past teaching and academic appointments include the National Theatre School of Canada, the Humanities Department at Vanier College, Visiting Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and consultant at the United Nations.


Mackenzie is currently writer-in-residence for Halifax’s 2B Theatre and is working on a new script, provisionally titled 'A Kind of Reminiscence', for production in 2015.[1]

His plays have been produced in Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Israel, France, Portugal, England, across Quebec, and in Toronto and Vancouver. Productions since 2010 include Frankfurt, Upper Franconia, Prague, Antigonish (Nova Scotia) and Montreal (in English and French productions).[2]

His most recent play "Instructions to Any Future Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas" was a finalist for the 4th International STAGE Competition and opened its French translation (Instructions pour un éventuel gouvernement socialiste qui souhaiterait abolir la fête de Noël) at Montreal’s Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in the fall of 2013. It was commissioned by Crow’s Theatre, Toronto and was first produced at the Centaur Theatre in March 2011 as a co-production with Crow’s[3] [4]

His plays are currently published in French, Hungarian, and German; they have also been translated into Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, Czech and Portuguese.[5]

Mackenzie has directed for the professional theatre in the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, as well as in Ottawa, (National Arts Centre Atelier), Toronto, (Tarragon, Toronto Theatre Centre) and New York City (Vine Tree Theater).

Collaborations with Robert Lepage

Mackenzie first worked with Robert Lepage as one of the writers on the film Le Polygraphe (1996), adapted from Lepage’s and Marie Brassard’s play of the same name. He was dramaturge for Elseneur in 1997 and, most recently, translator/adaptor for Lepage’s Dragon Bleu (Blue Dragon). Michael was dramaturge for the Cirque du Soleil show Ka, also directed by Robert Lepage and currently playing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.[6]


The Baroness and the Pig, Mackenzie’s first feature film as writer/director, with music by Phillip Glass, starred Patricia Clarkson and Colm Feore. The film was selected for the Sundance Film Festival (2003), Toronto International Film Festival (2002), San Francisco Film Festival (2003), and as the closing film for Montreal’s Festival de Nouveau Cinema (2002). Produced by Media Principia, the film enjoyed a theatrical release in Canada and was nominated for Quebec’s prestigious Jutra Award for Best Direction (2003).

Mackenzie next directed the feature film Adam’s Wall, which he also co-wrote with Dana Schoel. The film appeared as part of Montreal’s 2008 Festival de Nouveau Cinema and the Czech Republic’s 2009 Zlin International Film Festival, among others, with a Canadian theatrical release in 2008.

He is currently working on his next feature film project, to be produced by Novem in Montreal.[7]

Academic and Other Projects

Mackenzie's scholarly publications on science policy and related topics include 11 papers (a number co-written with Peter Keating and Alberto Cambrosio) in scholarly journals and a book with the late Jorge Sabato.

In 1993 he co-authored and co-directed Archeology of a Mother Tongue with Toni Dove at the Banff Virtual Reality Seminar.

In 1995 he created "Dark Practice Scarring", an interactive installation as author and director at the International Symposium of Electronic Arts, Montreal.


Mackenzie lives in Montreal with his partner and their two sons. [8]

Theatre Credits


  • 1987 Member of the Wedding, Tarragon Theatre, Toronto
  • 1992 Last Temptation of Christopher Robin written by Michael O'Brien, Toronto Theatre Center
  • 1993 Baroness and the Pig, Workshop, National Centre for the Arts, Ottawa
  • 1994 Tip or Die written by Linda Mancini, Here, New York
  • 1994: Freaks, the Musical written by Michael O'Brien, Workshop, National Centre for the Arts, Ottawa
  • 1997: Bikini, written by Linda Mancini, Vineyard Theatre, New York

Published Plays

  • 1992 (Adapted from Alex Gelman) We the Undersigned, first publication The Dramatic Publishing Co., (U.S.A.& U.K.)
  • 1993: Geometry in Venice, first published at PUC
  • 1997: Baroness and the Pig, first publication at éditions Herbes rouges



  • 2002: The Baroness and the Pig
  • 2008: Adam's Wall


  • 1996: Le Polygraphe co-written with Robert Lepage and Marie Brassard; a film by Robert Lepage (Genie Award nominee for best adapted screenplay).