Marcus Gardley

Co-Chair of Playwriting

Marcus Gardley, born and raised in Oakland, California, is an acclaimed poet, playwright, and screenwriter whom The New Yorker describes as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello and Tennessee Williams.” His plays include The House that will not Stand, which had its world premiere at Yale Rep in 2014, and for which he received the 2018 AUDELCO Award and the 2019 OBIE Award; X: Or, Betty Shabazz V. the Nation; black odyssey (2023 Drama Desk nomination); The Gospel of Loving Kindness; Every Tongue Confess; On the Levee, music and lyrics by Todd Almond (commissioned by Yale Rep); …and Jesus moonwalks the Mississippi; The Road Weeps, The Well Runs Dry; and dance of the holy ghosts (Yale Rep world premiere, 2006). He is the recipient of the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award, the 2015 Glickman Award, the PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Kesselring Honor, and he is a two-time finalist for Kennedy Prize in 2015 and 2016.

Marcus’s work for television includes Maid (Netflix), for which he won the 2022 Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted longform series; Boots Riley’s I’m a Virgo (Amazon); The Chi (Showtime); Foundation (Apple); NOS4A2 (AMC); Tales of the City (Netflix); and Mindhunter (Netflix). His feature adaptation of the musical The Color Purple will be released in theaters on Christmas day; and What’s Going On, his Marvin Gaye biopic, is in pre-production at Warner Brothers with director Allen Hughes. He has also written a biopic about James Baldwin with Janelle Monae attached to star.

A summa cum laude graduate of San Francisco State University and David Geffen School of Drama, where he received his M.F.A., Marcus has taught previously at Brown University, Columbia University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of San Francisco, and the National Theatre Institute.