January 9, 1962 – November 7, 1995
Actor, director, playwright, and Grand Rapids native Michael Gerard Barto of Chicago earned his B.A. in theater at the University of Michigan-Flint. In 1987, while pursuing his M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, Barto directed and co-wrote The Wizard of AIDS, which was performed more than 700 times over seven years throughout the Midwest. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 33.