Mike Wiley is a North Carolina-based actor, playwright and director of multiple one-man documentary dramas and full-cast ensemble plays, including LEAVING EDEN, THE PARCHMAN HOUR, DOWNRANGE: STORIES FROM THE HOMEFRONT, DAR HE: THE STORY OF EMMETT TILL, the theatrical adaptation of BLOOD DONE SIGN MY NAME and more. The film adaptation of Wiley’s DAR HE, in which he portrayed 30+ roles, received more than 40 major film festival awards around the globe. THE PARCHMAN HOUR was selected as the closing event of the official 50th year anniversary commemoration of the Freedom Riders in Jackson, MS. Wiley has twenty years credits in providing documentary theatre for young audiences plus film, television and regional theatre. An Upward Bound alum and Trio Achiever Award recipient, he is an M.F.A. graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is a former Lehman-Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. He has conducted numerous educational residencies funded through grant programs of the North Carolina Arts Council and his plays have been selected for spotlight showcases by arts industry conferences throughout North America.
A gifted and visionary artist and communicator, Wiley’s overriding goal is expanding cultural awareness for audiences of all ages through dynamic portrayals based on pivotal moments in African-American history and, in doing so, helping to unveil a richer picture of the total American experience. Wiley is recipient of the University of North Carolina’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017. His epic LEAVING EDEN, premiered in spring of 2018, became the largest commissioned project ever undertaken by Playmakers Repertory Company and enjoyed a record-breaking run. Wiley’s ensemble cast original plays are available for licensed productions by theatres worldwide, and Wiley himself tours eight original one-person plays for student and adult audiences throughout North America, in addition to offering virtual streamed adaptations for educational systems and presenting theatres nationwide.
In 2020, Mike Wiley received the Ann Atwater Award presented by Manbites Dog Theater Fund to recognize Triangle theater artists and companies whose body of work reflects and honors Durham activist Ann Atwater’s lifelong commitment to social justice. He is also recipient of the NC Theatre Conference Constance Welsh Award for Theatre for Youth. Wiley currently leads the online series “Higher Ground Conversations” with national civil rights and social justice leaders.