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Marcus Gardley
Playwright of "The Fillmore Five: a jazz musical in rhapsody"
Handful Players 2007/2008 season

Marcus interviewed 11 renowned jazz musicians (all ages 60-85) to create this musical play celebrating the lives of these jazz legends and the heritage of jazz in San Francisco's Fillmore District. The play was performed at several jazz community events, including the Opening of Jazz Heritage Center and the Jazz Legends Concert. In 2008, Handful Players received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognizing the production of this World Premiere of Marcus's play at San Francisco's Yoshi's Jazz Club.

Marcus is an award-winning poet/playwright who won the prestigious 2008 Helen Merrill Award. His play, "Love is a Dream House in Lorin," was nominated for the National Critics Steinberg New Play Award. He is a 2007 Kellsering Honoree and the recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area's Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Grant, a playwriting residency from the National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group, plus many other awards. He has received commissions from the New York State Council on the Arts, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Shotgun Players, South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, and many others. He holds an MFA from the Yale Drama School. Marcus was chosen as one of 50 Writers to Watch by Dramatists Magazine. He is a professor of African-American Theater and Playwriting at the University of Massachusetts.