Mark Medoff is a playwright, screenwriter, director, and teacher. He received a Tony Award for CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD as well as London’s Society of West End Theatre Award (now Olivier) for Best Play. He was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Award for the film script of CHILDREN and for a Cable ACE Award (now EMMY) for his HBO Premiere movie, APOLOGY. He received an OBIE Award, Outer Critics Circle, and John Gassmer Playwriting Award for WHEN YOU COMIN BACK, RED RYDER?
He helped form the Creative Media Institute for Film & Digital Arts (CMI) in 2005. He was Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the American Southwest Theatre Company and Head of the Department of Theatre Arts for nine years, following twelve years in the English Department.
In 1974, Mark received NMSU’s highest faculty honor, the Westafer Award. In 1980, he was honored with the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, New Mexico’s most prestigious lifetime artistic honor. In 2005, he received The Kennedy Center Medallion for Excellence in Education and Artistic Achievement, an award given periodically to a practicing artist who is also a career teacher.
The majority of his almost thirty stage plays have been workshopped and premiered in Las Cruces, many of those at NMSU; in addition, he has directed another dozen works by his students here.
Among his studio movies are CLARA'S HEART, OFF BEAT, and CITY OF JOY. HOMAGE, which he wrote and produced, and SANTA FE (co-written with Andrew Shea) were invited to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.
In 2000, Mark wrote, directed and co-produced the documentary film, WHO FLY ON ANGELS’ WINGS, about a mobile pediatric unit, housed at Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, traveling the underserved areas of southern New Mexico.
In 2001, he directed the feature film, CHILDREN ON THEIR BIRTHDAYS, based on the story by Truman Capote. Among other awards, it received the Houston World Film Festival Award for Best Family Film.
In 2006 he directed the short film 100 MPG, filmed in Las Cruces with a combination of professionals and CMI students; the movie was selected to a number of film festivals.
In 2007, he directed BOOM, a training film for the military, produced by the Creative Media Institute at NMSU and the Department of Defense. Again, the project used a combination of students and professionals.
2009, he directed the feature film REFUGE, which again used a combination of professionals and students and was shot entirely in Las Cruces. The movie stars Linda Hamilton, Christopher McDonald, Chris Payne Gilbert and Lena Georgas. It went to a number of film festivals around the country and was recently bought by a distributor.
He is Executive Producer of ROSWELL FM, a film by his former NMSU student David Spence, which completed principal photography in Roswell, NM, in August. He is Executive Producer of A FACE FULL OF DOLLARS, by his former student Eric Seo, which premiered at the White Sands International Film Festival in August.
He directed HATCHING MAX, written by his MFA Creative Writing student Anna Pattison, last December with professional actors Tania Raymonde and J. D. Hinton, supported, as always, by a combination of students and professionals.
He and his wife Stephanie are considerable donors to NMSU through the Mark and Stephanie Medoff Endowment, the Thelma Medoff Endowment, the Tom Erhard Endowment, and in the 1980s a percentage of net profits from the Medoffs’ share of stage rights to CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. They have given a quarter million dollars in the form of property to the new Center for the Arts. The new theater in the Center will be named The Mark and Stephanie Medoff Theatre.