The Ha Ha Family
Steve Morgan is our only son. Born in Providence, Rhode Island on July 25, 1960, Steve and his sister Jan were “Dutch Twins.” He started school in Moosup, Connecticut before moving to Pickens, South Carolina in 1967 and attended public schools there.
He exhibited signs of athletic abilities early in life and went out for football in Pickens. Since the coach thought he was too small he didn’t play Steve until the end of the season. When Steve went in the game, he immediately became a star with his great speed and surprised everyone on his team.
Steve was the first son of a Cardigan graduate when he graduated from Cardigan Mountain School in New Hampshire. He excelled in soccer—the sport he still coaches and plays today. On holidays back in South Carolina, he attended the Paul Scarpa Tennis Camp and became an excellent tennis player. He was runner-up in the Pickens Country Club Men’s Tennis Tournament on two consecutive years as a teenager.
After Cardigan, Steve attended The Asheville School in North Carolina, where he captained both the varsity soccer and tennis teams.
In early 1981, he drove to California where he worked for a couple of years before enrolling at Orange Coast College. He excelled at Orange Coast and transferred to and earned his BA at the University of California, Irvine. In college, Steve became interested in theatre. He acted, directed and eventually, became a playwright. He earned his master’s degree in education and taught for many years at the Westmark School in Encino, California.
He continued writing and became a critically acclaimed playwright. “I used my play “....ing WASPS” to catch the Harvard educated daughter of a rocket scientist and British geologist/librarian in 2005, when I met Michelle Haner—while my own show was being produced at Theatre of Note in Hollywood.”—a theatre Steve helped found.
Michelle Haner grew up in Claremont, California where she attended grammar school and St. Paul’s Episcopal Day School in Pomona. In her own words:
“I went on to El Roble Junior High and Claremont High School - both in Claremont. However, what "shook stuff up" was our sabbaticals - as I spent almost two years of Elementary school in England (Elm Lee Elementary in Westbury on Trym, near Bristol) and then my freshman year of high school in France (at le College Jean Moulin - in Paris). After high school - I went on to Harvard University (studying social studies - an interdisciplinary social science major, with a focus on Latin America - which took me to Madrid for a semester - then, during the summers, to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Chile). After that, back to Paris -where I ended up for most of my 20s.
But after college, I really committed to theater. I studied for 2-years in a professional program, L'Ecole LeCoq, and did a Masters in Theater at the Sorbonne. I worked with small companies in Paris - and had a stint in Madrid, working with friends there for a year.
Late 20s (in 1998) - back to LA ... where I completed a MFA... and started working as a "jobbing actor" - while continuing to do quite a lot of work with LA-based Theater Companies. And there, I met your son.... in February 2005, we had our first official "date"... and 18 months later, we were moving together to Berkeley, to start a new life here.... with ever theater and teaching at the heart of work... but with the kids, of course.
I feel so lucky to have found such a partner in all these areas... where we have ample common ground - but enough differences to find balance, learn from each other and keep things interesting!
I LOVE Theater - and feel so lucky that it has been such a great part of my life, for so long... and that I get to think about, teach it, see it, and create it. Because theater is about life - it is the prism through which I process and engage with the world - with myself and with the other. Also, it is a frame through which I may pursue interests, learn and create (as does your son...) - and of course connect, and share.
For this, I am a bit of a workaholic - but it is because my "work" is not my "job" - but my life's work.... and my life.
Other interests: I do love movement work (Yoga, Physical theater training)... I love walking and hiking. I love to TRAVEL. I really thirst for it in a way that Steve does not (but he supports me traveling, which I love).
I used to love to horseback ride as a girl... and loved animals. That is something I would like more of.
I revel in reading The New Yorker - and used to write quite a lot... but that has been neglected. (Getting back to regular journaling should be a goal.)
Otherwise - getting time with the kids and just being with them is a great pleasure - and a priority (taking them to the pool, reading with them, playing with them.)”
Michelle currently heads the arts department and oversees the theater program at San Francisco’s International High School. She and Steve will attend Michelle’s 25th Harvard Reunion in May 2016.
Morgan was Steve and Michelle’s first-born. An energetic, bright boy, Morgan has already exhibited his father’s athletic abilities, excelling in soccer. Morgan attends the Walden Center and School. It was founded in 1958 as a radical alternative to public school in Berkeley. Morgan loves soccer, playing the piano, climbing trees and sketching battle scenes.
Emily attends San Francisco’s International School, where her mother heads the arts department. Emily loves to dance, play the cello, paint and sketch and is also learning to play soccer.
Steve said, “It is funny how Morgan is a lot like his father at his age and Emily is not unlike her mother. Both children speak French and also spend their summers in England and France where Michelle and her parents have spent many years. Michelle's mother, Barbara, was British and met her dad, David, a rocket scientist, at the U of Southern California. We [the Ha-Ha Family]currently rule the greatest town on earth-Berkeley California.”