GRAHAM SCHMIDT is a Brooklyn-based director who creates transformative experiences that find beauty, paradox and miracles in the most unexpected places and perspectives. Mindful that oppressive systems often erase the most urgent and courageous stories, Graham lifts up and learns from the experiences of people on the margins, and especially people of color, immigrants, women, non-binary and queer communities. Whether developing new plays or drawing from the canon, Graham is drawn to stories that expose the churning wildness beneath everyday life's still surface, the colossal striving in little rooms. Graham’s work awakens audiences’ capacity for wonder, and intends that we may all feel more seen, and less alone.
From 2007 – 2015, Graham served as resident director of the company he founded, Breaking String Theater Co. (Austin, TX). Graham’s work with Breaking String included re-imaginings of canonical plays (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, Ghosts), international collaborations (Dulcey and Roxy at City Hall), contemporary and brand new American plays (The Beyoncé by Eliza Bent, Three, or the Sound of the Great Existential Nothingness by Timothy Braun, The How And The Why, by Sarah Treem), and annual new plays festivals that he produced from 2011 - 2013.
Graham has directed and developed work at institutions including the National Winter Playwrights’ Retreat, the Blue Theater, the Off Center, Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Lark Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Flea Theater, Egg and Spoon Theatre Collective, and the Wild Project. He has assistant directed under Brant Pope, Robert Ramirez, and Chay Yew. MFA, UT-Austin.
Graham recently accepted an offer to serve as Associate Director of Chay Yew’s Cambodian Rock Band at Portland Center Stage in May of 2020. He teaches a specialized scene study course in the BFA Acting program at Brooklyn College, and lives across the street from Prospect Park with his wife, Antoinette, and their impossibly delightful staffy-lab mix, Scout.