Wellman, Mac

Variant names
Birth 1945-03-07

Biographical notes:

Mac Wellman, playwright and poet, is perhaps best known for his plays TERMINAL HIP, BAD PENNY, CROWBAR, and SINCERITY FOREVER.

Wellman was born John McDowell Wellman on March 7, 1945 in Cleveland, Ohio. An innovator of language, he focused on poetry until a chance meeting with Dutch theatrical director/producer Annemarie Prins. The two collaborated on a number of radio plays and, in 1975, directed their first stage production, FAMA COMBINATORIA, at Theatre de Brakke Grand in Amsterdam. Wellman continued to experiment in poetry and theater, merging the two to create his own style. In 1977, he published his first collection of poetry, In praise of secrecy. In 1979 his first New York City theatrical production, Starluster, was produced. In the early 1980s, Wellman began writing officially under his nickname, Mac. He gained national exposure as a "downtown" playwright in New York City. In 1990, Wellman received his first Obie in a three-way tie with himself for Best American play for TERMINAL HIP, BAD PENNY, and CROWBAR. In 1991 he received a Best Playwrighting Obie for SINCERITY FOREVER. He received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1990 and 1995 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 1990. Throughout the 1990s, Wellman's scripts were produced nationally and internationally and he taught at such institutions as New Dramatists, Yale, and Brooklyn College.

In 1997, Wellman was honored with a six-month festival of his work, the Mac Wellman Festival, which featured thirty of his plays staged in four cities. Wellman received his third Obie in 2003, this time for Lifetime Achievement.

From the description of Mac Wellman papers, 1959-1999. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122430495

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