Michael Hamilton became interested in theatre through his parents’ involvement in community productions as directors, actors, and technical workers—a legacy he’s honored now for more than fifty years.
After graduation from Alma College, Mr. Hamilton began his career in 1964 at Flushing High School, starting as a forensics coach and director of the school plays. Although he had many winning debate teams, it wasn’t long before theatre became his prime interest. While continuing his own education in theatre at Oakland University and the University of Michigan–Flint, he built his school’s curricular program from one speech class to a full range of courses, including acting and technical theatre. In 1974, he chartered Thespian Troupe 2829, which he still directs. He led the Michigan chapter from 1986 to 1993 and again from 1996 to 1999. He started the Michigan Junior Thespian Festival in 2011.
Over the years Mr. Hamilton has directed 136 productions. Four have been selected for performance at the International Thespian Festival. He was named Flushing Area Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 1997 and an outstanding teacher in 2003. In 2007 he was inducted into the Michigan Educational Theatre Hall of Fame, and in 2014 he was honored for an extraordinary fifty years of service to Flushing Community Schools. Retired from the classroom after forty-two years, he continues to direct plays and a musical each year.
“Mike has truly dedicated his life to the teaching of young people and sharing the love of the arts with them,” wrote superintendent Timothy Stein. “In everything he does, Mike Hamilton demonstrates why theatre programs are a critical part of the high school experience.”