Michael J. Arndt has been a Professor of Theatre Arts at California Lutheran University for the past thirty-eight years and is currently the chair of the Theatre Arts and Dance Department. He is a founding member of the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company and has served as the company’s Artistic Director for the past 24 years. He has written several plays and contributed to the book, Theatre in Cyberspace. He is a past president of the Southern California Educational Theatre Association, a past board member of the Alliance for the Arts, The California Educational Theatre Association, and The Region VIII Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Association and currently serves on the board of Warfighter Advance, a veteran’s support organization. He has received a number of awards including: the Thousand Oaks Arts Commission Certificate for Excellence in the Arts, The California Lutheran University President’s Award for Teaching Excellence, the national MacBeth Award for Computing in the Liberal Arts, The Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival, Region VIII-Outstanding Theatre Educator, and the Alliance for the Arts’ Exemplary Arts Educator Award. In 2016 he was named a “local hero” by the Ventura County Reporter and in 2017, he was named “Patriotic Citizen of the Year” by the Conejo Valley Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars and The Sergeant Michael A. DiRaimondo Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.
As a Vietnam combat veteran, he compiled and edited collected stories of combat veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan into a multimedia play entitled Under Fire: Stories of Combat Veterans Across Generations. Under Fire has been performed several times in California and in Ohio. He is currently writing a book with a Vietnam Veteran comrade-in-arms, with a working title: Making Contact: The Way to Healing from the Trauma of Combat