Mark Clayton Southers, Playwright-Director-Producer-Episode #61

Jan 31, 2019 | 4 comments

Mark Clayton Southers is an award-winning playwright, photographer, scenic designer, theatrical producer and stage director. He is the founder and producing artistic director of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company where he’s produced over 140 full-length and one-act plays, including August Wilson’s complete ten-play Pittsburgh Century Cycle.

Not long after Mark attended a master class in playwriting conducted by August Wilson at the Grahamstown Arts Festival in South Africa, he attended the Edward Albee Theatre Festival in Valdez, Alaska, where he did seated readings with August Wilson of all of his plays. These encounters encouraged Mark to take up playwriting and devote more time to theatre arts. In 2003, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company was born, producing August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which received critical acclaim and high praise from the playwright himself.

Mark’s play, Ma Noah, was the recipient of the 2004 Theodore Ward prize at Columbia College, Chicago. His poem play, Angry Black Man Poetry, had a successful run at Teatr Śląski in Katowice, Poland in 2009.

A few of his directing credits include: Paul Robeson for the Griot Ensemble Theatre Company; Dutchman for Bricolage Production Company; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, and Radio Golf for American Stage Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida; Gem of the Ocean for Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio, receiving a Best Director nod by the Dayton Metro News; Passing Strange for North Short Stage in Columbus, Ohio. And for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company Mark has directed Dorothy Six, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, which was named one of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s top ten plays of the decade, Seven Guitars, VALU-MART, Jitney (which was voted one of the Post-Gazette’s top ten best plays of 2010), and Gem of the Ocean.

Mark is a four-time recipient of the AACTA Onyx award for Best Director.





Executive Producer: Steve Cuden, Producer: Casey Georgi, Announcer: Javier Grajeda
Social Media: Mina Hoffman, Design & Marketing: Holly Reed, Reed Creative Group


  1. Sylvia

    Great interview. Thank you for sharing an intimate journey of a successful playwright.

  2. C. Denise Johnson

    I’ve been unable to download the file of the Mark Southers. Could you please forward the file as an attachment?
    Thanks in advance!

  3. Myla Lichtman-Fields

    Mark is such a powerful creative artist. I hope he is better now and writing the rich projects he spoke about in this interview. Once again Steve, you’ve created an ambiance in which your subjects reveal their connection to their craft and the uniqueness of their artistic visions.

    • Steve Cuden

      Thanks for the encouragement, Myla. So glad you found this worthwhile!


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