Current News


As You Like It

Played the role of Orlando in this exciting musical reinvention of the classic Shakespearean gender-bender with San Francisco Shakespeare Company with songs by The Kilbanes all of summer 2019!

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberly

Enacting the rake George Wickham in a private developmental reading of the latest draft of this new play from prolific and acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.

Bastiano, or the Transfiguration of Raffi

Performed a reading of this new play from the mind of playwright (and recent Artistic Director of ACT) Carey Perloff, under the direction of Berkeley Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone in February of 2019. Details at Playwright's Foundation Rough Readings web page. 

TheatreWorks Writers' Retreat

Worked with acclaimed local rock opera writers The Kilbanes and playwright Lynn Rosen on their musical about Helen Gurley Brown and Betty Friedan the TheatreWorks Writer's Retreat in January of 2019.



If Men Breastfed

My short comic film for Naya Health about what the world would be like if men lactated has been viewed nearly 12 million times on Facebook alone. Check it out here.















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Award Nominations:

Theater Bay Area Award Nominations for Best Ensemble & Outstanding Production of a Musical

(Project Ahab; or, Eye of the Whale, Central Works)


Broadway World San Francisco Award Nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical

(Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, SF Playhouse)


Shellie Award Nomination for Best Actor

(Vaudeville, The Willows Cabaret Theatre)


BroadwayWorld page and article archive: here


Press Quotes:

“As the tongue-tied Orlando, Michael Barrett Austin makes a whole silent monologue out of aborted utterances, pursed lips and nearly formed syllables.”

-Lily Janiak, “San Francisco Chronicle” 7/8/19 review of "As You Like It" with The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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“How can we not immediately like our story’s Number One hero, Orlando (Michael Barrett Austin), as we meet him as a pleasantly smiling, casually dressed busker on the street, singing in an attractive twang.”

-Eddie Reyndolds, “Theatre Eddys” 9/4/19 review of "As You Like It" with The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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“Michael Barrett Austin is amusingly bewildered and amiable as Orlando.”

-Sam Hurwitt, “The Mercury News” 7/10/19 review of "As You Like It" with The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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 “It’s pretty convincing when Rosalind...and Orlando (an endearing Michael Barrett Austin) fall in love at first sight, with youthful awkwardness.”

-Jean Schiffman, “San Francisco Examiner” 9/3/19 review of "As You Like It" with The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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“The talented cast includes other both endearing and totally quirky characters worthy of a quick shout-out.  Michael Barrett Austin is both the twitchy, tee-heeing Mayor Rufus Poindexter of Gilbert and the snappy, sniping Senator Wingwoah.”

-Eddy Reynolds, “Theatre Eddys” 10/11/18 review of "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas" at 42nd Street Moon.

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“Michael Barrett Austin deftly portrays a variety of testifying real-life well as a harried radio director and a smooth, Mephistophelean fixer.”

-Sam Hurwitt, “San Jose Mercury News” 6/11/18 review of "Finks" at TheatreWorks.

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“...Showing off wonderfully varied styles, Michael Barrett[s] a cascade of supporting characters...making a particularly memorable impression as an oily political operative.”

-Robert Sokol, “San Francisco Examiner” 6/12/18 review of "Finks" at TheatreWorks.

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“With lips puckered proudly and a tongue that literally flows from his mouth as he speaks, Michael Barrett Austin as Parchester...leads the gathered clan in a hopping, skipping, and jumping dance line as he sings in a wonderfully funny and exacting British accent...Mr. Austin brings the fun and flair that makes Parchester a solicitor to be remembered a long time.”

-Eddy Reynolds, “Theatre Eddys” 5/10/18 review of "Me and My Girl" at 42nd Street Moon.

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“The over-the-top, Gilbert-and-Sullivan-esque family solicitor (Michael Barrett Austin)...provoked lots of laughs.”

-Ilana Walder-Biesanz, “Stark Insider” 5/11/18 review of "Me and My Girl" at 42nd Street Moon.

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“It was only when confident and steady Michael Barrett Austin, as Dr. Frederick Treves, brings his new charge to London Hospital...that the incredible transformation occurs and the play gains momentum.

-Joanne Englehardt, “Daily News” 3/16/18 review of "The Elephant Man" at Hillbarn Theatre.


“Michael Barrett Austin is outstanding as Professor Moriarty and he has a malevolent voice when rendering "I Shall Miss You.”

-Richard Connema, “Talkin' Broadway” 11/10/16 review of "Baker Street" at 42nd Street Moon.

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“Austin has a way with a deadpan retort.”

-Karen D'Souza, “San Jose Mercury News” 4/14/16 review of "Boeing Boeing" at San Jose Stage.

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“Conflicts erupt, especially between beer-swilling but clear-focused Hunter (Michael Barrett Austin) and the captain...That, and an electrifying tale told by Hunter, are highlights.”

-Jean Schiffman, “SF Examiner” 7/23/15 review of "Project Ahab; or, Eye of the Whale" at Central Works

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"Michael Barrett Austin is the amusingly laid-back and borderline smarmy head of the activist organization ...who steps into the Starbuck role of the warning voice of reason on an increasingly desperate mission... It's one of Central Works' better shows, full of powerful performances."

-Sam Hurwitt, "San Jose Mercury News" 7/28/15 review of "Project Ahab; or, Eye of the Whale" at Central Works

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“Michael Barrett Austin knows how to stay in character – especially that of the nerdy guy down the hall who makes you impatient…Michael Barrett Austin did something even harder by doing this onstage with Kathleen Turner as Molly Ivins. His degree of control was so laudable I’m still smirking.”

-Cy Ashley Webb, “Stark Insider” 12/1/14 review of “Red Hot Patriot” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

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“An underused asset in Bay Area theater, Michael Barrett Austin is such a natural that he made TheatreFIRST's production of John Steinbeck's sweeping epic The Grapes of Wrath feel like an intimate chamber piece. But he also excels as a character actor..."

-Lily Janiak, “SF Weekly," 1/2/13 profile of “11 Bay Area Theatre Artists to Watch in 2013”

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“Porter Price, played by Michael Barrett Austin, he was great…Harry Potter and Will Forte combined—he was funny and great.”

-Joe and Joe, “Joes at Shows” podcast, review of “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” at the NY Fringe Festival.

Listen to full podcast review


“The cast is superb, endowing each moment with authenticity and expert timing. Roberts, Anderson, Austin and Alvarez are a joy to watch and excel at May’s naturalistic brand of humor.”

-Nathaniel Kressen, “” 8/9/13 review of “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” at the NY Fringe Festival

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“The busiest, most forceful performances belong to El Beh...Safiya Fredericks…and Michael Barrett Austin, whose Martin Van Buren is a Three-Stooges-in-One.”

-Janos Gereben, “San Francisco Examiner” 10/14/12 review of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

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“Michael Barrett Austin gives a spotless performance as the foppish Martin Van Buren and shows vibrant vocal cords in the number Second Nature.”

 -Richard Conemma, “Talkin Broadway” 10/24/12 review of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

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“Very funny in various minor roles, Michael Barrett Austin is endearingly befuddled as Jackson’s right hand man”

-Sam Hurwitt, “The Idolect” 10/18/2012 review of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

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“Michael Barrett Austin…shows astute comedic instincts and puts a delightfully dark and rather fey spin on the man who would take over the White House”

-Maurice Kelly, “” 10/17/12 review of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

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"high points include insouciant Martin Van Buren, played by Michael Barrett Austin"

-Cy Ashley Webb, “Stark Insider” 10/15/12 review of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.”

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"Vaudeville also allows us to sample…some comedy and bickering from Paul Clayton and Jeannie Cook (Michael Barrett Austin and Andrea Snow, both delightful performers).”

-Pat Craig, “San Jose Mercury News” 7/2/12 review of “Vaudeville.”

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“Austin is terrific as Lyle, the bright young lover who can't let go of his first love…the talented cast deserve kudos for making it such an thought-provoking yet highly entertaining journey.”

-Judith Prieve, “Contra Costa Times,” 6/8/11 (review of  Imaginary Love)

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“I was most captivated by Michael Barrett Austin as Mr. Tumnus, the faun. His lament, “Narnia (You Can’t Imagine),” is the song that comes closest to capturing the melancholy of Narnia...”

-Chad Jones, “Theatre Dogs,” 3/21/11 (review of Narnia)

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 "Just for the record, Eugene Brancoveanu is a solid believable Count Dracula but it is Michael Barrett Austin as Renfield, the insane fly eater who walks on sheer walls, [who] wins the audience’s approbation."

-Kedar K Adour, “Kedar K. Adour Reviews” 10/28/10 (review of Dracula)

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 "...a stellar cast delivers this Dracula in high dramatic and persuasive form. Michael Barrett Austin is outstanding in his portrayal of Renfield."

-Charles Jarrett, “Charles Jarrett Reviews” 10/31/10 (review of Dracula)

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 "There is another essential character in the play...Renfield, played by Equity actor Michael Barrett Austin...Austin masters the role of the defeated prisoner who is forced to recall his previous terror."

-Elizabeth Warnamont, “Benicia Herald” 11/1/10 (review of Dracula)

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 "Michael Barrett Austin was outstanding as mental patient Renfield. He not only acted the part of a lunatic, but looked the part..."

-Richard Connema, “Talkin Broadway” 11/30/10 (review of Dracula)


  “Michael Barrett Austin is a hoot as the neurotic nut Felix, the kind of guy whom you feel sorry for but also want to slap up silly. The two "roommates" have good chemistry. Austin looks the part of a prim, fastidious Felix…Austin has much of the physical humor here, snorting like a pained animal when his character has a sinus attack, and crouching in a chair with his neck bent into his shoulder when he pulls a muscle. He cuts a hysterical figure with his contorted neck and frenzied face”

-Judith Prieve, “Oakland Tribune” 10/21/09 (review of The Odd Couple)

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