BIOGRAPHY


• Mark Jackson is a playwright, director, and performer. He was Artistic Director of Art Street Theatre, San Francisco, from 1995 to 2004, during which time he wrote, directed and performed in numerous productions for the company. Mark’s diverse range of work in theater, dance, and performance has also been seen in the San Francisco Bay Area at Aurora Theatre Company, Encore Theatre Company, EXIT Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Potrzebie Dance Project, San Francisco International Arts Festival, The Shotgun Players, and Z Space, among others. Nationally at The Catamounts (Denver) and The Studio Theatre (Washington D.C.). Internationally at Arts International Festival IV (Japan), Edinburgh Festival Fringe (UK), and Deutsches Theater Berlin (Germany). His plays have been developed at American Conservatory Theater, Capital Stage, EXIT Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, and Z Space. Mark is a company member of The Shotgun Players.

Recent directorial projects include Adam Peck’s Bonnie & Clyde, Woyzeck with music/lyrics by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Mark’s play God’s Plot, his adaptations of Schiller’s Mary Stuart and Goethe’s Faust Pt1, and Shakespeare’s Macbeth, all at Shotgun Players; his play Salomania, John Lowell’s The Letters, Frisch’s The Arsonists, Kafka’s Metamorphosis, and Strindberg’s Miss Julie at Aurora Theatre Company; McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Marin Theatre Company; The Companion Piece at Z Space; Yes Yes to Moscow at Deutsches Theater Berlin (Germany) and the San Francisco International Arts Festival; and his play, American $uicide, for Encore Theatre Company. Mark has also directed a number of productions as a guest artist of both San Francisco State University and the American Conservatory Theater MFA Program.

 

Mark has been a resident playwright of English Theatre Berlin (Germany) and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, where he was awarded the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Honorary Fellowship. He is a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which has provided Mark with three extended artist residencies in Berlin between 2004 and 2013, for projects undertaken at Mime Centrum, Deutsches Theater, and English Theatre Berlin. Mark has twice been named “Best Director” by the East Bay Express, “Best Theatrical Auteur” by the SF Weekly, and one of the “Top 100 Bay Area Artists” by San Francisco Magazine. Other awards and honors include the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, a Magic Theater / Z Space New Works Initiative commission, three Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards, three SFBG Upstage/Downstage Awards, and two Theater Bay Area CA$H Grants. Mark’s writing has benefited numerous times from the generosity of the Tournesol Project, a granting program for the development of new work. 


Mark graduated magna cum laude from San Francisco State University, where he received the Theatre Arts Department Award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing. He has studied extensively with the SITI Company, as well as Master Biomechanics instructor Gennadi Bogdanov. Mark has led workshops for actors at theaters and schools, and served on the faculties of Universities, in both California and Berlin, Germany, and was a Conservatory Associate at the American Conservatory Theater from 1999 to 2004. In addition to his work as a director and playwright, he continues to teach theater courses on a freelance basis at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, the American Conservatory Theater, and other organizations.
In addition to his work as a director and playwright, he continues to teach theater courses on a freelance basis at San Francisco State University, the American Conservatory Theater, and other organizations, and is a lead consultant developing the CIIS / University of Chichester MFA in Theater Performance Making, set to commence in June 2015.

For a more complete list of credits, download Mark’s CV.
 
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PRODUCTION PHOTOS

These photos have been selected to give a representative overview of my work as a director – and, occasionally, designer and performer.


I strive to create clear, dynamic storytelling images that are as specific as they are open to possibility. I’m drawn to theater that can only happen in the theater, and performances that are at once truthful and theatrical. I believe that for theater to be useful, regardless of style or genre it ultimately must encourage people—to be more daring, have more compassion, laugh more honestly, pay more attention, think further, ask more and better questions, and to be ready, awake, and open to what can and might be. I believe the “product” is not on stage, but in the audience.

 

In pre-production and rehearsal I strive to create a fluid process based in clear communication, practical action, and bold choices. I am committed to making the rehearsal room a practical creative place—rigorous, good humored, efficient, critically engaged, open to happy accidents, and supportive of various acts of daring-do. This creative place is for the artists to prepare for welcoming the audience, and then together to get down to it.

Click any image for more
   

BonnieAndClyde
Woyzeck
Salomania
Bonnie & Clyde
Woyzeck
Salomania
GodsPlot
Wallflower
Metamorphosis
God's Plot
Wallflower
Metamorphosis
Companion
MaryStuart
Juliet
The Companion Piece
Mary Stuart
Juliet
Faust Pt1
Miss Julie
Faust Pt1
Miss Julie
Macbeth
Machinal
Don Juan
Yes, Yes to Moscow
Machinal
Don Juan
Yes, Yes to Moscow
American $uicide
American $uicide
The Forest War
Salome
The Caucasion Chalk Circle
The Death of Meyerhold
Io Princess of Argos
I Am Hamlet
The Lost Plays of
Jacques du Bon Temps
   
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PRESS    
For a complete list of press quotes, download my press quote packet. Here’s a taster…
ForAllEvents.com, April 2013:
   
 

“Ever since Mark Jackson exploded on the local scene with his brilliant production of The Death of Meyerhold that he wrote and directed under the auspices of The Shotgun Players in 2003, he is in great demand as a director. His works do not ‘grace’ the local stages, they explode with energy.”

 
San Francisco Chronicle feature article on highlights of the 2012 theater season, December 2012:
   
  MVP: Mark Jackson – Sometimes it seems that no theater season would be complete without at least three productions from triple-threat director-playwright-performer Jackson… Every show, since his dynamic early Io Princess of Argos and sweeping, bold The Death of Meyerhold, is at least exhilarating in its intellectual challenges, sharp visual images and expressive physical acting, and every year at least one of his shows makes my Top 20 list. This year opened with his bright, comic colonial-theatrical history study God's Plot at Shotgun Players, plunged into the denser, tantalizing sexual politics of his Salomania at Aurora (where his directing of Metamorphosis was a highlight of 2011) and ends with his brilliant staging of Woyzeck at Shotgun.”
 
San Jose Mercury News, December 2011:
   
  “Playwright/director Mark Jackson has made his name as a first-class theatrical provocateur. Gutsy showmanship, brainy literary instincts and laser-sharp satire mark his canon, from The Death of Meyerhold and American $uicide to Faust Pt1 and Metamorphosis."
 
East Bay Express, December 2011:
   
  “Anyone familiar with the work of playwright and director Mark Jackson can attest that he’s an unparalleled talent in the Bay Area theater scene, and possibly in the nation at large.”
 
San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 2011:
   
  “From reimagined Shakespeare to adaptations of under-produced Russian dramas, Jackson's work is invariably characterized by his respect for and understanding of the universal nature of human emotion, regardless of location or century, as well as an intensely verbal style of playwriting and often aggressively physical staging.”
 
Chad Jones of Theaterdogs.net, June 2011:
   
  “Director Mark Jackson is something of a name brand in the Bay Area. You know his shows are going to be original, compelling and rigorously produced. He’s a writer/director (occasionally actor) whose work you simply do not miss.”
 
Sam Hurwitt of www.theidiolect.com, October 2010:
   
  “As acclaimed as he is for original works such as Shotgun Players’ The Death of Meyerhold and The Forest War, what’s particularly fascinating about writer-director Mark Jackson’s work is his treatment of classic texts, from inventive stagings of Shakespeare’s Macbeth for Shotgun and Strindberg’s Miss Julie at Aurora to dizzying choreography-oriented deconstructions such as JULIET at San Francisco State University and his Three Sisters riff Yes, Yes to Moscow at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. Somewhere in between are his adaptations, which bear the unmistakable mark of his strong visual and highly stylized approach while remaining much more of a conversation with the original work than a reinvention of it.”
 
New York Times feature article by Chloe Veltman, March 2010:
   
  “Jackson’s 2008 productions of Don Juan and Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal remain among the highlights of my theatergoing career.”
 
American Theatre magazine, April 2009:
   
  “The director, playwright, educator and actor is that rare kind of theatre artist who constantly strives to defy expectations.”
Download a PDF of the full article here!
 
KQED's Spark, episode featuring my work on American $uicide and The Forest War, May 2007:
   
  Click on this link to go to the KQED Spark website and view the video:
http://www.kqed.org/arts/programs/spark/profile.jsp?essid=16480
 
San Francisco Magazine, December 2006:
   
  “Even in a region with many excellent directors, Jackson’s smart, intensely physical work stands out. His plays are notable for their electricity and the elegant intelligence of his writing and staging; Jackson draws out the best in his collaborators and then forges their contributions into a coherent and affecting whole.”
 Download a PDF of the full article here!
 
   
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BOOKS    
• THREE PLAYS
 

Published in 2012 by EXIT Press, this is the second collection of Mark’s plays and includes God’s Plot, Mary Stuart, and Salomania, with notes by the author and a foreword by Patrick Dooley, Artistic Director of The Shotgun Players. Available at Amazon.

TEN PLAYS
 

Published in 2010 by EXIT Press, this is the first collection of Mark’s plays. The volume includes American $uicide, BANG!, Brave, The Death of Meyerhold, Faust Pt1, The Forest War, I Am Hamlet, little extremes, Messenger #1 and R&J, with notes by the author and a Foreword by critic Rob Avila. Available at Amazon and from other reputable booksellers.

 

"TEN PLAYS is a testament to the tenacity of vision… What these plays have in common is an audacious commitment to the illimitable possibilities of live theater.” – San Francisco Bay Guardian, December 2010 article on the Year in Literature.

 

Read about TEN PLAYS and EXIT Press in American Theater magazine's March 2011 issue: 
http://www.tcg.org/publications/at/mar11/strategies.cfm

• THEATREWORK
  In 2000, Art Street Theatre published Mark’s chronicle of the company’s first five years of work. The 300-page paperback included production photos, scripts, and essays detailing several Art Street projects from 1995 to 1999. This limited edition book is now out of print.
 
DOWNLOADS    
Complete CV/Resume
Photos (click image)
Visual Portfolio
Visual Portfolio.
Includes a range of production photos and press, offering a representative overview of my work.
Portrait
Portrait.
Photo by Pak Han.
Headshot
Web Headshot.
Photo by James Faerron.
Mark Jackson in rehearsal
In rehearsal for The Forest War at Shotgun Players, 2006.
Photo by Benjamin Privitt.
FaustPt1
In performance, as Faust in Faust Pt1, at Shotgun Players, 2009.
Photo by Benjamin Privitt.
Book Cover Front
Book Cover Back
Front and back cover of TEN PLAYS, published in 2010 by EXIT Press.
Cover designed by Kevin Clarke.
 
 
Complete press quotes list

Summaries of plays – including production histories, cast requirements, running times, etcetera.

The list also includes some as-of-yet unproduced plays.

20-pg excerpts of scripts:
Here are the first twenty pages of several of my scripts. For full copies of any script, or to inquire about other titles not listed here, just email me with your request. For a complete list of plays available for production, download the Summaries PDF above.
 

 

Produced Plays:

 

Salomania (Aurora Theater Company, 2012)

God's Plot (Shotgun Players, 2011)

Mary Stuart (Shotgun Players, 2010)

Faust Pt1 (Shotgun Players, 2009)

American $uicide (Encore Theatre Company, 2007)

The Forest War (Shotgun Players, 2006)
Don Juan (San Francisco State University, 2004)
The Death of Meyerhold (The Studio Theatre, Wash. DC, 2005, Shotgun Players, 2003)
I Am Hamlet (Art Street Theatre, 2002)
Io Princess of Argos (Encore Theatre Company, 2002. Art Street Theatre, 2001)
Messenger #1 (The Catamounts, Denver CO, 2012. Art Street Theatre, 2000)
Megan and the Magic Compass (Il Teatro 450, 1999)
BANG (The Play Café at Edinburgh UK, 2004. Art Street Theatre, 1999)
Brave (PCPA, 2003. Art Street Theatre, 1998)
Little Extremes (Art Street Theatre, 1995)

 

(as of yet) Unproduced Plays:

 

 

 

   
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CONTACT    
email: mrkjcksn(at)aol.com
twitter:twitter.com/MarkJacksonSF