Michael Friedman

2009-2010 Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities and Guest Artist at the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University




Michael Friedman was a founding associate artist of The Civilians, and has been the composer and lyricist for the company’s This Beautiful City[I Am] Nobody’s LunchGone Missing, and Canard, Canard, Goose? He also wrote music and lyrics for Saved, Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonIn the BubbleThe Brand New KidGod’s Ear, and The Blue Demon. His music has also been heard at theaters across the country and in the UK. Film/TV work includes On Common GroundBeloved, Emile Norman: By His Own DesignFloaters and Affair Game. He was a recipient of a MacDowell fellowship and a Princeton University Hodder Fellowship. He received a 2007 Obie Award for sustained excellence. Michael Friedman earned his Bachelor’s degree at Harvard University where he majored in History and Literature. Friedman died in 2017.


While at Princeton

The joint appointments of Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman with PEI and with the Atelier Program at Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts allowed for an innovative collaboration involving theatre, the creative arts and environmental sciences. With input from Princeton researchers and students and incorporating the talents of experienced theater professionals, Cosson and Friedman created an interpretive theatrical drama with music — The Great Immensity — that examined the current environmental crisis including themes of climate change and global sustainability.

A spring Atelier course, cross listed with the Program in Environmental Studies offered an interdisciplinary mix of undergraduates an opportunity to help shape elements of The Great Immensity production. While at Princeton, Cossen and Friedman offered a three-part dinner series with guest speakers with discussions centering around various themes explored in the context of their creative collaboration. At an evening event for Princeton residents that was jointly sponsored by PEI and D&R Greenway, the Barron visitors discussed the dramatic and technical challenges encountered in producing an expository drama involving environmental themes.