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Marcus Gardley
Assistant Professor of African-American Theater and Playwriting
B.A. San Francisco State University
M.F.A, Yale University


Marcus Gardley is a poet-playwright whose most recent play, every tongue confess, premiered at the Arena Stage, starring Phylicia Rashad and directed by Kenny Leon. It was nominated for the Steinberg New Play Award.

His play, On The Levee, premiered at Lincoln Center in July and was nominated for 11 Audelco Awards including outstanding playwright. In 2008, he won the prestigious Helen Merril Award and a Kesselring honor. His play, And Jesus moonwalks on the Mississippi, was produced at the Cutting Ball Theater and received both critical and audience acclaim: it was named one of the top ten plays in the Bay Area in 2010, and it had two sold-out extensions.

His Bay Area plays This World in a Woman’s Hands (October 2009) and Love is a Dream House in Lorin (March 2007) have been hailed as the best in Bay Area theater. The latter was nominated for the National Critics Steinberg New Play Award. He has had six plays produced including: dance of the holy ghost at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a commercial Broadway option), (L)imitations of Life, at the Empty Space and like sun fallin’ in the mouth at the National Black Theatre Festival.

Gardley is the recipient of the SF Bay Area’s Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center. Gardley, a native of West Oakland, was recently chosen as one of 50 writers to watch by Dramatists Magazine.



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