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Mikhail Fiksel is a designer, composer, musician and a DJ, originally from Novosibirsk, Russia and currently based in Chicago and Brooklyn. His theatrical credits include productions with The Public Theatre, BAM, The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Victory Gardens, Writers Theatre, The Geffen, The Old Globe, Playwrights Horizons, The Civilians, Pigpen Theatre Co, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Realm, Manhattan Theatre Club, Center Theatre Group, Studio Theatre, The Flea, Timeline Theatre, Albany Park Theatre Project and Third Rail Projects. International collaborations include FILO Festival (Londrina, Brazil), Tukkers Connexion (Arnhem, Holland) and National Theatre of Scotland (Inverness, Scotland). Dance projects include designs and compositions for The Seldoms, Lucky Plush, The Inconvenience and DanceWorks Chicago.

He is a recipient of multiple awards and nominations including 8 Joseph Jefferson Awards, 2 Lucille Lortel Awards and The Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. In addition to serving as adjunct faculty at Loyola University and at University of Chicago, he is a company member of 2nd Story, an Artistic Associate with Timeline Theatre Company, Teatro Vista and Strawdog Theatre Company, and a resident artist at Albany Park Theatre Project. Full CV available below.

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> film.scores


Initially a theatrical artist, Fiksel pursued his curiosity and appreciation of the screen, both as a composer and a sound designer. He has scored several independent feature films, including “Glitch” and “The Wise Kids” as well several shorts such as “Alien Queens”, “Both/And” and “The Learning Curve” (a short film inspired by an acclaimed immersive theatrical production exploring the high school experience).

Fiksel has worked on several trailers and promotional videos for various corporate and non-for-profit clients and expanding on his collaboration with Albany Park Theatre Project, he worked with documentary director Dan Andries, scoring several film adaptions of APTP’s stage plays, including “Feast” which received the 2018 Emmy (Midwest) for Direction.

All these experiences have been very fulfilling and inspiring, and so Fiksel is continuously seeking new collaborations and opportunities in the film landscape.

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> podcasts.and.audioplays

The latest venture is into the future of an art form that hails from the past - radio.

The rapid growth of the podcast landscape created opportunities for scripted audio-content, inspired by the radio-plays of the early 20th century. And Fiksel, already a true believer in aural storytelling and the art of the “unseen”, is actively pursuing developing this new/old medium. In 2018, he was brought on to lead Audio Production team of Make Believe Association, a new company dedicated to creating original audio-plays and performances. Make Believe’s inaugural season featured several acclaimed original programs, including Bruh Rabbit, recognized as #9 on IndieWire’s list of Top 50 podcasts of 2019. And currently, Fiksel is in production of “City on Fire” - a collaboration with NPR/ WBEZ and Make Believe, which will be a docudrama exploring the events surrounding the 1919 race riots in Chicago. “City on Fire” is slated for broadcast and release in early October.

IN 2019/2020, Make Believe Association is in pre-production of their 2nd Series - “Chicago Stories”. And in addition, Fiksel will be working with Audible Originals and designing/scoring their upcoming commission and collaboration with The Geffen Theatre in LA.

Convinced of the power and the yet-to-be-tapped potential of this medium, Fiksel is exploring new possibilities and welcomes new partnerships and collaborations.

> livesets.mixtapes

> remixes.mashups.originals

Starting in the mid-90s, under the moniker DJ White Russian, Fiksel quickly became the defacto after-hours dj for much of Chicago's vibrant theatre scene which served as his entry point into the world of theatrical design and composition.

In the 2000s, Fiksel dove into Chicago’s growing downtempo scene and was a regular contributor to Q101’s “Sonic Boom”, Chicago’s only underground dance music radio show. In 2004, he created Seeking Wonderland, a live music project comprised from an ever evolving ensemble of musicians, exploring the intersection of jazz and dj culture. With SW, Fiksel crafted various live performances and featured them in multiple recordings and film or theatre scores.

In the 2010s, Fiksel leaned into his love of the remix, and started creating and performing original custom mash-ups and remixes, collaborating with the likes of Chicago Children’s Choir, The Fly Honey Show, Leo Burnett and DanceWorks Chicago, sometimes working with his long time colleague, Miles Polaski, as The Ordeal - a dynamic dj duo dedicated to hyperactive genre-bending mashups.

As we head into the 2020s, the scope is wider than ever - spanning from minimalist electronica to deep cuts of 60s funk and afrobeat to the flavor-fluidity of the most recent young talent - and Fiksel continues to focus on custom unique experiences. He has dj-ed at the finish line of the New York Marathon, performed at Lollapaloosa on a hybrid Pyrotechnic/DJ performance object created with New Moon Chicago (formerly Redmoon), and continues to rock dance floors in Chicago and NYC including various private and public events for corporate clients such as Louis Vitton, Anthropology and Adidas.

Born out of youthful celebration, the DJ aspect of Fiksel's career has proved to be a persistent one. It has informed his approach to live performance and composition, created a signature aesthetic and continues to influence his vocabulary of music and design. It is an ever-evolving exercise in reflection on modern art making, on and off the stage, and will undoubtedly create more multi-disciplinary opportunities in theatre, dance, film, music and beyond.

 > current and upcoming projects


Mikhail Fiksel is represented by United Talent Agency.

For theatrical booking please contact Rachel Viola: