Mike McIntyre has been Director of Theatre at the University of Jamestown since 1996. The 100+ plays and one-acts that have been presented in the Reiland Fine Arts Center and the Little Theatre over that time have given Mike the opportunity to explore vast numbers of worlds, eras, and authors with several generations of students and audiences. Some of those students now are the children of those from his first years.
Mike grew up on a farm near Tulare, South Dakota. Rural life with its hours on tractors and extended stretches of solitude encouraged a wandering imagination. Getting to stage dramas for actual audiences was a dream at that point. A fascination with classic movies made the desire to act even stronger. He took any opportunity to perform that a tiny high school affords.
College meant a lot more chances to get on stage and a valuable variety of roles. In his first musical, Guys and Dolls, he was perched on a bench for “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” beside a lovely freshman doll, Cheryl.
Not long after graduation, a kind stranger came to see Mike at his regular job, looking for a community theatre director. That unexpected invitation led to many community theatre gigs and to the decision for Cheryl and him to uproot their two young sons, Anthony and Matthew, and head off to graduate studies at Minnesota State University, Mankato. They not only got their degrees, they also got a daughter, Brittany, before they were done. In addition to the demands of the graduate program, Mike also worked as Technical Director for Highland Summer Theatre in Mankato and as a directing intern for improv comedy legend Dudley Riggs in his Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. While directing has been his primary focus for three decades now, Mike has had design work recognized by the American College Theater Festival.
In addition to managing UJ Theatre and the Reiland Fine Arts Center, Mike has taught and directed Advanced Theatre Arts each summer at Jamestown High School since 1996 with Cheryl and, currently, with Anthony.