Michael Cotey is a Chicago-based director and actor.

He is currently in the MFA Directing program at Northwestern.

While earning his MFA, Michael has directed The Great Gatsby, Equivocation and Frankenstein for Northwestern. Other directing credits include Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Comedy of Errors), Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (Boeing Boeing, named one of the top 10 shows of 2015 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Things Being What They Are), First Stage (Elephant’s Graveyard and As You Like It), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Cementville), Illinois Wesleyan University (Treasure), and Youngblood Theatre (CartoonThe Flu Season; and Spirits to Enforce), where he was the Founding Artistic Director 2009-2013 which did “terrific work that [changed] the landscape of Milwaukee Theater” (Milwaukee Magazine) and was named the Shepherd Express’ best theatre company in 2010. As an actor Michael has worked with regionally with the Milwaukee Rep, Utah Shakespeare, and Illinois Shakespeare, and in Milwaukee with Next Act, In Tandem and Youngblood. Michael has assisted directed at Steppenwolf (Hallie Gordon), Utah Shakespeare Festival (Joseph Hanreddy), Milwaukee Rep (Sean Graney), Gift Theatre (Jessica Thebus) and Northwestern (Henry Godinez). Michael graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in theatre. In 2014 he was named UWM's “Graduate of the Last Decade.”

When not working on plays Michael is spoiled rotten by living an awesome life with his talented wife Eleanor Cotey, head of wardrobe at the Joffrey Ballet, reading too many comic books, and being the proud owner of a Chihuahua named Hulk.


“He is an actor of some note who has proven his abilities for several years, but for my money he is beginning to carve an enviable reputation as a director.” - Dave Begel, OnMilwaukee.com

Michael Cotey is one of the most exciting and wildly inventive [up-and-coming directors]. Cotey’s best work...has toggled effortlessly between absurdist humor and deeper existential questions, underscoring the relation between the two.”

- Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel