Michelle Haner
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About Michelle Haner


Michelle has shared and led workshops on local and international collaborations, translation, storytelling and public speaking as well as the power of live performance in this digital era.  

As a 2023-24 Visiting Scholar with the Center of Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE), Michelle led a 2-hour webinar on Story-telling and Public Speaking as part of its back to school kick off series. She will be leading a three-part Webinar Series in March 2024 on how story-telling and the arts can empower individuals, build teams and support school community 

In 2021, she was an invited speaker at her 30th Harvard College Reunion, sharing with fellow alumni "Life Hacks from the Greeks to Us",  focusing  on The Power of Theater in the Digital Era via a 5-minute TED-style talk, #Dionysus. You can also see her here in her  TEDx talk: "The Empathy Hack". 

As an artist and educator, she has shared and led workshops at conferences including Innovate-BrazilNational Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Network of Ensemble Theater (NET) and Arts Education Partnership (AEP). As a translator, she has shared at the festival Traduire le Monde - VO/VF and at the Playwright's Festival of Contemporary French Playwrights,  Des Voix - Found in Translation


Michelle's international approach reflects her training at l'Ecole Jacques LeCoq, the Sorbonne (MA) and UCLA (MFA), as well as her studies, travels and professional work in South America, Europe and Asia. Her work in the arts is ever connected to her passion for social sciences, philosophy and history - which underpinned her undergraduate work at Harvard University  (Social Studies - BA).

Michelle is an experienced professional theater artist who belongs to SAG/AFTRA/AEA and has been a member of foolFURY, Ensemble Studio Theater - LA and the Classical Theater Lab. With Steve Morgan Haskell, she leads blue monkey works, a company dedicated to "exploring life on earth through investigation, collaboration and creation." She performed in "blue monkey love cuts - redux" at the San Francisco Fringe Festival in August 2023.

In 2022, Michelle spent six months overseas teaching theater and collaborating in France. She taught young professionals at the Ecole Supérieure de Comédien.ne.s par l'Alternance (ESCA), with a month-long intensive on Shakespeare VO/VF. She joined the faculty of the Programme Baudelaire at the Fondation Robert de Sorbon, a center focused on pedagogical innovation. She taught work on Shakespeare, Linklater and Alexander Technique at the Ecole de l'Acteur - Sophie Akrich. She is engaged in on-going summer-time collaboration with these organizations.

International artist Moïse Touré (of Les Inachevés) has been an important thought partner and collaborator over the past decade. In 2022, she interviewed him for HowlAround, in which they shared about past collaborations, as well as his company's current work on Hospitality: Territory of Humanity.


Fluent in Spanish and French, Michelle is also passionate about translation, and often thinks of artistic sharing as an act of "translation" across time, space, media and culture,s as well as languages. 

After many years leading foolsFURY's French Plays Project, (dedicated to the translation of contemporary French plays), Michelle has continued to work in translating and developing work with contemporary French writers, including Fabrice Melquiot, Leonore Confino and Nathalie Fillion.

She notably both translated and directed the US Premiere of Fabrice Melquiot's The Unheard of World for foolsFURY. In 2020, she co-translated (with Emily-Jane Cohen) Nathalie Fillion'Plus Grand Que Moi


At the French-American International School of San Francisco, Michelle serves as Head of the Creative & Performing Arts Department as well as Artistic Director of its flagship theater program, Back à Dos, where she is grateful to serve the school's mission of nurturing international citizenship and cross-cultural communications. 

Here, since 2006, she has taught theater and overseen the 4-show Back à Dos season, integrating the talents of a team of teaching-artists and over 100 student-artists every year. She has personally directed over 15 productions at the school and produced many others.

In keeping with the school's international mission, projects have often been multi-lingual and collaborative. They have included work with local-global partners, such as with Les Inachevés on Awaiting Dawn or at the Yat Bentley Center on Electric Voices (an immersive interdisciplinary work on the refugee experience, featured in TIE magazine).

From 2018-23, Michelle was also delighted to serve as the school's founding Urban Engagement Coordinator at the French-American International School. The program takes the school's work into the wider community via internships, partnerships and a speaker-salon series

As a 2023-24 Visiting Scholar at the CSEE, she is continuing to develop her work in community engagement as the chair of its virtual department on Service Learning, and co-chair its Service Learning Planning team, helping with the 2023 Service Learning Summit.