Hometown: Chicago , Illinois
Birthday: March 3
Co-founder and artistic director of The Gift Theatre, Thornton appeared as Judge Danforth in “The Crucible” (Steppenwolf), as King Richard in The Gift’s “Richard III” (Steppenwolf), in fellow Gift ensemble member Will Eno’s “Title and Deed” (Lookingglass) and in fellow Gift ensemble member Andrew Hinderaker’s “Colossal” (The Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, Olney Theatre). Also, he starred in “Our Town” (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and “Middletown” (Steppenwolf), both directed by Les Waters. Thornton played Iago in “Othello” (The Gift) and the title role in “The Elephant Man” (Steppenwolf).
Select directing credits include the world premiere of Gift ensemble member David Rabe’s “Good for Otto,” “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” “Pilgrims,” “Oh, the Humanity,” “Stop/Kiss,” “White People,” “Three Sisters,” “Hurlyburly” (The Gift) and “Of Mice and Men” (Steppenwolf). Thornton was an assistant director on Steppenwolf’s “August: Osage County.”
A Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor for Solo Performance in Conor McPherson’s “The Good Thief,” Thornton was nominated for a Jeff Award for “Suicide Incorporated” and a Best Director Jeff Award for “Good for Otto.”
A graduate of The School at Steppenwolf, The Second City Conservatory and The Second City Directing Program, Thornton trained at iO under Mick Napier at Annoyance Theatre and has taught at Second City, The School at Steppenwolf, Acting Studio Chicago, Black Box, Columbia College, DePaul University and Northwestern University. His two-person improv show “You & Me” has played at Steppenwolf, Second City, The Den and Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Among Thornton’s television credits are ELEMENTARY, on the Network, “The Exorcist,” “Counterpart,” “The Jamz,” “The Chicago Code” and “Private Practice.” Feature film credits include “The Dilemma” and “The View from Tall.” He has appeared in the short films “Jeri’s Grill,” “Unknown Unknown” and “The Liquors.”
Thornton is a native of the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago where he resides with his wife, performance artist Lindsey Barlag Thornton. His birthday is March 3. Follow him on Twitter @ThorntonMPT and Instagram at @michaelpatrickthornton.