For Jenks graduate, the world’s a stage.
Michael Fling (standing, left) was the associate director for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis’ 2016 production of “A Christmas Carol.”
Courtesy Michael Fling
Tulsa native and 2011 Jenks High School graduate Michael Fling has shared his passion for the arts on a number of stages. At age 24, he has already directed successful community theater productions of “Peter Pan,” “The Music Man,” “Oklahoma!” and more across the country.
Although he is now a freelance director in New York City, Fling began his theater career as an actor. But he says he was drawn to directing at an early age. “I spent my entire childhood casting my siblings, cousins and neighbors in productions and orchestrating all of it,” Fling says. “So when I found out I could go to school for directing and not performing, I knew that was what I wanted to study.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in directing from Webster University in 2015.
In March, at the request of the Jenks vocal music director, he returned to his hometown to direct the high school’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” “To call it a dream come true would be cliché,” Fling says. “But it was absolutely something I had dreamed about for years. Being able to give back to the students and the school that had given me so much felt like the least I could do.”
Fling says some of his fondest memories include his own senior play and musical performances at JHS. He says those early experiences in theater prepared him well for “the roller coaster ride” of a career in directing.
Coming up, Fling is working on a revisal of the musical “Rags” at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. He also will return to the St. Louis Municipal Opera Theatre as the coordinator for its 100th season.