Michael Walline, Williamsville SOUTH High School, Class of 1991

Michael Walline is a ten-time winner and a record 48-time nominee for the Buffalo Artie Awards, given for excellence in professional theatre in Buffalo, NY. He is a playwright, director, actor, and choreographer who has been immersed in Western New York performing arts since his days as a college student at the University at Buffalo.

At Williamsville South, Mr. Walline was president of the Drama Club and a four-time participant in the school musical. He was a member of the Concert Band, Marching Band, Choir, Choraleers, as well as a 2-time letterman in both volleyball and tennis. He credits teachers Dr. Michael Levi, Dr. Alan Wagner, and Mr. Roger Paolini for fueling and nurturing his passion for the performing arts throughout high school. Upon graduating from South, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre with a concentration in Choreography from the University at Buffalo and was recognized by the Kennedy Center/ American College Theatre Festival for his acting achievements. 

Mr. Walline has over 75 professional regional acting, directing and choreographic credits, and in 2016 he was awarded Buffalo Spree Magazine’s “Best of WNY” award for Outstanding Character Performance of the Year. He has also written, directed and choreographed four full-length, award-winning musicals performed regionally to sold-out audiences. His 25-year career at Musicalfare Theatre Company and his 15-year career at Theatre of Youth, where over 140,000 parents and children have seen his work in plays and musicals, are where his theatrical philosophy was cultivated: “Always live moment to moment, not line to line. And remember- audiences don’t care what you say - they care how you say it.”  

In addition to theatre, Mr. Walline was the Executive Producer and Director for the 2018 Miss New York Scholarship Program, where he crowned Nia Franklin, who went on to win the 2019 Miss America pageant.  He has competed in the USTA National Tennis Championships, finishing ninth in his division in 2013 and winning the divisional title in the Buffalo MUNY City Tennis Championship the same year. By day, Mr. Walline is a Marketing Professional at Ingram Micro, where he develops channel brand strategies for technology companies, including IBM and Apple.