Mac Wellman Named CUNY Distinguished Professor of English

July 7, 2010 | Brooklyn College

Brooklyn, N.Y.—Professor of English Mac Wellman, coordinator of the M.F.A. program in playwriting and the Donald I. Fine Professor of Play Writing at Brooklyn College, has been named CUNY Distinguished Professor, the highest faculty rank.

CUNY’s official release stated that “Professor Wellman’s role in the world of experimental theater, where dozens of his original plays have been produced in theaters across the country, has earned him an extensive list of awards and honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple Village Voice Obie Awards.”

A multidisciplinary and prolific artist, Wellman has written 40 plays, three novels and three collections of poetry. He has received numerous honors, including both NEA and Guggenheim fellowships, a Bessie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award.

In 1990 he earned his first Obie for Bad Penny, Terminal Hip and Crowbar. In 1991 he received another Obie for his politically charged attack on Congressional Comstockery, Sincerity Forever. In 2003, a third Obie, for Lifetime Achievement, cited Wellman’s Antigone, Jennie Richee and Bitter Bierce.

In addition to being an influential playwright, Wellman is an important mentor to other playwrights who have become famous in their own right. Upon hearing about his newest title, he said:

“I’d like to thank my Brooklyn College students over the past few years, notably: Young Jean Lee, whose theater company has been touring all over the world with her acclaimed productions of works like The Shipment and Flying Dragons; Thomas Bradshaw, whose sharp and scary plays have been written up in The New York Times and The New Yorker; Kelly Copper who, with her husband, Pavol Liska, has been touring their pieces, such as No Dice and Rambo Solo, in Europe and Asia; and, most recently, Annie Baker, who just received the Lily Award, a citation from the Outer Circle Drama Critics and a Village Voice Obie for Best New American Play.”

Wellman, who has been teaching at Brooklyn College since 1998, has also taught play writing at TheatreWorks in Singapore, the Yale School of Drama, Princeton University, Amherst College and many other colleges and institutions.