Michael Friend founded Soul In Motion Players, Inc. in 1984. Michael wrote and debuted his first theatrical production entitled, We Are Africa in 1991. His other works include Henrietta Marie, Malcolm, What If., and Ile Ife – House of Love. He started his music/acting career in 1969 with the world renowned Arthur Hall Afro - American Dance Ensemble and Theatre Advocate, in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. Friend furthered his studies at Fisk University and graduated Howard University in 1981, receiving his B.A. degree in Communications. Michael has gone on to record/perform nationally and internationally, including a Jazz tour in 1989 to Cameroon, West Africa. As a percussionist, Michael performed with The Four Kings of Rhythm and Blues for over 10 years, featuring Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Ben E. King, and Lloyd Price. Friend’s regional accomplishments include performing in the Arena Stage production of Derrick Walcott’s The Odyssey and with The Dance Theatre of Harlem at the Kennedy Center. He’s a former board member of several local arts organizations: Black Rock Center for the Arts, Joe’s Movement Emporium, and The Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County – serving as Vice President of Grants for 3 years. In 2011, as director of Soul in Motion, Michael won the prestigious Montgomery County Executive’s Community Award for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, in 2014 he was the recipient of the Empower Magazine Player Award and on March 19, 2016 Joe’s Movement Emporium honored Michael as a Mighty Joe with the Creative Visionary Award.