The 103-year-old Ben Skardon would rather not receive so much attention, but he also understands he is a conduit to the past. It’s a responsibility he takes very seriously.
Educate. Inspire. Connect.
Educate. Inspire. Connect. These are the perfect words to describe the career and dedication of Mark Charney.
It’s also the mission of the Actors Hall of Fame, which honored him for his work with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Chair of Texas Tech University’s Department of Theatre & Dance, Charney also serves as national coordinator for the Kennedy Center’s Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy and its Dramaturgy Initiative.
Charney is both a playwright and an administrator. He’s the associate chair of the National Critics Institute for the O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut, conference planner for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and has served as secretary of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). He has twice received the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion of Honor for his work advancing theater in colleges and universities around the U.S.
As a playwright, Charney has won the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award for his play, “The Power Behind the Palette.” His “The Decameron Project” traveled to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, where it was featured for two weeks. His semi-autobiographical comedy, “37 Stones or the Man Who Was a Quarry,” played both off Broadway and in Washington, D.C., and his most recent play, “The Balloon Handler Makes Good,” was developed by ATHE in D.C., and performed in the New Works Festival in Santa Clarita, California, the Ten for TENN Play Festival in Tennessee, and the Warner International Playwrights Festival in Connecticut. For three years, Charney was co-artistic director of the playwrights lab, WordBRIDGE.
Charney earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Clemson, served as chair of the English department and as director of performing arts, where he worked in the Brooks Center of the Performing Arts, furthering the major and the playwriting program.