Michael Counts is a theatrical designer and stage director, visual artist, and media and entertainment entrepreneur who has been focused on creating large- scale immersive installations, theatrical productions and innovative media and entertainment experiences, often in unconventional spaces, for the last 20 years. He is one of the early pioneers of immersive art and entertainment and has been called a “mad genius” and “a master of immersive theater” by the New York Times and “one of the most fertile imaginations working in New York City, today” by Time Out New York Magazine.
Two of his recent productions (Moses in Egypt with New York City Opera and Philharmonic 360 with the New York Philharmonic) were listed on the New York Times Top 10 Lists for 2011 and 2013 and his projects in a wide range of media have been critically acclaimed and featured in press and media around the world. His recent work on the Walking Dead Escape, an immersive experience extension of the TV, comic book and video game franchise, was called “the high point of the 2014 San Diego Comic Con” by Oculus VR CEO, Brendan Iribe. A new touring production created as a partnership with Skybound Entertainment (the owner of the Walking Dead franchise) launched as The Walking Dead Experience: Chapter 1 at the Atlanta Walker Stalker Convention in October 2015 as the start of a national tour.
In the summer of 2016 Counts created and co-produced Paradiso: Chapter 1, a next-level immersive theatrical escape room experience, which receive critical acclaim and led the New York Times to call Counts “a master of immersive theater;” and the Ouroboros Trilogy, an Opera production that included the Pulitzer Prize winning Madame White Snake, composed by Zhou Long, as well as two world premiere productions (Naga composed by Scott Wheeler and Gilgamesh composed by Paola Prestini). Upcoming productions include Roadtrip, with the Bang On A Can Ensemble, as part of the 2017/18 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Sharon, and two sons, Wilder and Dashiell.