First and foremost, directing is storytelling, and Mike Peebler has been studying story his entire life. Like many directors, Mike started with his parent’s video camera making homemade movies with his friends. His love of cinema eventually turned to a love for acting, and Mike spent years honing his craft at Northwestern University for a Bachelor’s in acting and then at UCLA for an MFA. While focused mostly on acting, both programs offered Mike opportunities to explore directing in various projects, as well as exposing him to some of the great minds in the directing world including Gil Cates, Mel Shapiro, Michael Langham, Ellen Geer, Mary Zimmerman and more.
Mike’s hands on directing experience came once he had established himself as a company member at the Equity playhouse in Malibu, The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, when Artistic Director Ellen Geer noticed his abilities and began to mentor him for a directing career. Under her tutelage, Mike worked first with young students, then with interns, and eventually began directing productions there. Mike directed Romeo and Juliet, Joyce Carol Oates’ Tone Clusters, as well as a critically acclaimed production of Equivocation.
Mike’s work was noticed by John Walcutt, Artistic Director of Shakepseare Orange County, and after directing a very successful production of The Tavern he was asked to join on as Associate Artistic Director. Mike has served as Associate Artistic Director for the 2015-2017 seasons, including co-directing another smash hit production of Romeo and Juliet.
Mike’s next project is a short film about child marriage entitled Evie, which wrapped shooting in the summer of 2018 and will be on the film festival circuit in 2019. He is currently in development on the feature film version of Evie, as well as the feature film What You Wish For and the television series Skids, all under the umbrella of his production company Upstart Crow Films.