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Michael Hooker has designed sound and/or composed music for more than 120 productions. On Broadway he designed Looped starring Valerie Harper at the Lyceum Theatre. He also designed the national Broadway tour of Looped, which has played so far in Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Baltimore and Hartford.

His regional theatrical designs have been heard in Peter and the Starcatcher and The Light in the Piazza at South Coast Repertory; Sweeney Todd at The Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Sunday In The Park With George at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Becky Shaw, and the world premieres of Goldfish and Our Mother's Brief Affair at South Coast Repertory; Looped at Arena Stage; The Little Foxes and Looped at the Pasadena Playhouse and the Cuillo Center for the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL; A Doll's House at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; and Pyrenees at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Locally he has designed the world premieres of 3 Truths by Naiomi Iizuka and and For All Time by KJ Sanchez at Cornerstone Theater Company, Los Angeles; Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse at the Lewis Family Playhouse/Mainstreet Theatre, Beautiful in the Extreme and A Shayna Maidel at the Colony Theatre; Molly's Delicious at the Group at Strasberg - Marilyn Monroe Theatre; Drive My Coche, Bird's Nest Soup, The Mysterious Mrs. Nixon, A Line Around the Block, The Ballad of Ginger Esparza and Conjunto at the Mark Taper Forum New Works Festival/Taper, Too; and At the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles, he designed sound for Machiavelli and co-designed the world premiere of Eve's Rapture. He also designed an interdisciplinary project presented by the Pacific Symphony (Orange County, CA) and UCI Dance Dept. entitled The Sacre Project, which is a deconstruction and retelling of Stravinski's The Rite of Spring - coinciding with the 100 year anniversary of its premiere.

He recently designed and opened a show for Walt Disney Imagineering - Creative Entertainment: Tarzan, Call of the Jungle at the brand new Shanghai Disneyland. Recent theatre sound design endeavors include: the world premiere of Better by Jessica Goldberg at the Echo Theatre Company in Los Angeles; and the world premiere of Backyard by Mickey Birnbaum, also at the Echo.

His theatre musical compositions have been on tour with Kasier Permanente Educational Theatre production of The Amazing Food Detective: Game On. Past works have been heard in Sideways Stories from Wayside School at South Coast Repertory, and Tuesdays With Morrie at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, CA. His music direction and performance of Once On This Island have been heard at the Falcon Theatre in Cincinnati and Borderlands Theatre in Tucson, AZ.

Michael spent 6 years as Senior Media Designer for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) where he produced sound and music for Disney theme parks worldwide - including three newest Disney parks - Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea and Walt Disney Studios - Paris. Some of his major attractions at WDI are Aladdin's Magic Lamp Theatre at Tokyo Disney Sea and Cinemagique at Walt Disney Studios. He was area lead media designer for Adventureland at Hong Kong Disneyland and Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo Disney Sea. Smaller attractions include two very popular holiday overlay shows: it's a small world very merry holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday both at Tokyo Disneyland. He has two Themed Entertainment Association (Thea) awards for design work on Tokyo Disney Sea and Cinemagique.

As a commercial sound designer and composer, Michael has recently finished 4 musical arrangements for the Enchanted Art attractions on the Disney Dream cruise ship. He composed the music score for the Griffith Park Observatory/Samuel Oschin Planetarium show First Light: The Telescope Changed Everything and he has worked as sound editor for Buena Vista Interactive, Way Forward Technologies, Sonic Desktop Software and Creative Presentations. His musical arrangements have been heard online at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online.

His educational service spans 20 years. Michael is currently Professor of Drama and Head of the Sound Design Program at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He was Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he created their MFA and BFA programs in sound design. Prior to CCM he developed and headed the sound design program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He also served as faculty at the University of Arizona - School of Theatre Arts and has been adjunct lecturer at both Pomona College and at CalArts. He has taught seminars at North Carolina School of the Arts and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

For UCI Drama, he recently composed music for The Merchant of Venice. He has designed sound for Sunday in the Park With George, La Celestina, Rabbit Hole, Pericles, Fetes de la Nuit, Anything Goes, and West Side Story. In collaboration with Drama faculty member and playwright Bryan Reynolds, Michael composed for the musical Lumping in Fargo, which performed at the prestigious Gdansk Shakespeare Festival and The Green Knight, which premiered at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in Romania. He has also designed sound, composed or arranged for other Reynolds plays including Railroad at Sibiu, Woof, Daddy at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival, and Blue Shade at the Divadlo DISK Theatre in Prague and the National Theatre Festival in Bucharest. With Professor Eli Simon, he sound designed and composed Clownzilla: A Love Story, which premiered at the Rude Guerilla Theatre in Santa Ana, CA and performed at the Accademia Dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy and the Hanmadang Theatre Festival in Seoul, South Korea.

He has been actively involved with the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) and served as the Sound Commissioner from 2000 to 2004, as Co-Commissioner in 2005, and currently as the Vice Commissioner of Sound Education. He has chaired 20 sessions since 1996 and programmed the sound sessions for all the national conventions from 2000 to 2005. At the 2012 conference in Long Beach, CA he chaired the creation of the inaugural USITT Sound Laboratory; the 2014 SoundLab in Ft. Worth, TX; and the 2016 SoundLab in Salt Lake City. He is also a member of United Scenic Artists/IATSE local 829, the Themed Entertainment Association and BMI.

Michael received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Performing Arts Design/Technology from the CalArts School of Theatre.

 



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