The Center Theatre Group family was saddened to learn of theatre artist Michael Friedman’s passing on September 9, 2017. Friedman had worked with Center Theatre Group on multiple projects, perhaps most notably on the World premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2008, a production that eventually found its way to a Broadway run.
Center Theatre Group’s Artistic Director Michael Ritchie had first met Friedman while working in Massachusetts—Ritchie then the Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Friedman an intern at the regional summer theatre.
“Any room that Michael walked into automatically became brighter, smarter, funnier and more alive,” said Ritchie upon learning of Friedman’s passing. “He had wide-ranging talents…not the least of which was that he made everyone around him better. Better artists, better people. We will dearly miss his presence, we will cherish his impact on our lives.”
For those of us that had experienced Friedman’s work, whether through the dark and funny emo rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, his efforts as artist-in-residence and director of The Public Theater’s Public Forum, or his leading New York’s Encores! Off-Center annual program at New York City Center, Friedman’s impact on the American theatre scene will remain unforgettable.