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Marcus Gardley is an acclaimed poet, playwright, and screenwriter.

Introducing Playwright Marcus Gardley

About the Playwright

Born and raised in Oakland, California, Marcus Gardley is an acclaimed poet, playwright, and screenwriter. The New Yorker has described him as “the heir to Garcia Lorca, Pirandello, and Tennessee Williams.” His best-known play is The House That Will Not Stand. It premiered at Yale Rep in 2014. Marcus has been awarded for his work excellence. He received the 2018 AUDELCO Award and the 2019 OBIE Award for The House That Will Not Stand. He also received the 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award, the 2015 Glickman Award, and the PEN/Laura Pels Award. Additionally, Gardley received a Kesselring Honor, and he is a two-time finalist for the Kennedy Prize in 2015 and 2016.

Gardley’s other stage credits include 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).

(Click here to learn more about THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND)

Gardley’s Film and TV Credits

Marcus’s work for television includes Maid (Netflix), for which he won the 2022 Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted long-form series; Boots Riley’s I’m a Virgo (Amazon); The Chi (Showtime); Foundation (Apple TV+); NOS4A2 (AMC); Tales of the City (Netflix); and Mindhunter (Netflix).

His screen adaptation of the musical “The Color Purple” was released in theaters on Christmas Day 2024, and “What’s Going On,” his Marvin Gaye biopic, is in pre-production at Warner Brothers. Dr. Dre produces it, with Allen Hughes slotted to direct. Gardley is also working on two other projects. The first is a musical about visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. He collaborates with famed jazz artist Jon Batiste on music. The other project is a biopic about James Baldwin, with Janelle Monae attached as the film’s star.

Gardley’s Work in Academia

Finally, Gardley is the Co-Chair of Playwriting for the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. Gardley won a 2019 OBIE Award for Playwriting for The House That Will Not Stand.

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