The Theatre School > About > Faculty & Staff > Performance > Michelle Lopez-Rios

Michelle Lopez-Rios

  • Artistic Director of Playworks
  • ​​

  • Performance
  • 773-325-4989

Michelle is an artist, teacher and community activist. She comes to The Theatre School from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee where she served as Head of the BFA Acting Program.

Michelle is an associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework. She currently serves on the board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and is a featured coach on​. Coaching credits include: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Bad Soviet Habits, Stages Repertory Theatre, Jersey Productions, Unhinged Productions, and Unity Theatre. 

Michelle has collaborated on many theatrical projects for social change. She is a co-founder of the Royal Mexican Players with Alvaro Saar Rios. For over a decade they have offered workshops, devised community productions, and produced original works. Her one-woman show 500 Years was developed in Bogotá, London, and Milwaukee. Michelle recently had the honor of working with 371 Productions to devise and direct a live multimedia performance of Precious Lives, the popular weekly podcast about gun violence and young people in Milwaukee.

Directing credits include The Mole Hill Stories (First Stage), Precious Lives: The Live Show (371 Productions), Enfrascada (Renaissance Theaterworks), Decaffeinated Tragedy (2009 Prague Fringe Festival Inspiration Award); One Hot Texican Summer (or the summer I found out I was Mexican), Nuestra Voz, Nuestra Historia; and A Trip Through the Mind of a 'Crazy' Mexican (Royal Mexican Players). A proud member of Actors Equity for over 20 years, she has also performed at Mark Taper Forum, First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Next Act, A Contemporary Theatre, Court Theatre, Troy Rep, and Ojai Shakespeare Festival.​