Playwright: Mark Sebastian Jordan
Mark Sebastian Jordan has been an active presence in the Ohio arts scene for twenty-five years, working in genres such as theatre, humor, history, poetry, and music. Jordan’s popular “Mansfield Trilogy” of historical dramas has been performed to acclaim at Malabar Farm State Park since 2003, when his Ohio Theatre Alliance award-winning historical drama Ceely was given its world premiere in a co-production between the Mansfield Playhouse and Malabar Farm, with support from the Ohio Arts Council and the Richland County Foundation. The second work in the trilogy, Phoebe, was premiered in 2005, and the final work in the cycle, Louie, is premiering in October, 2010, in a co-production between Malabar Farm State Park and the Malabar Farm Foundation.
Jordan’s poetry chapbook The Book of Jobs is being published by Pudding House Press this year, while his humorous book 1776 and All That: A Complete History of the United States, or at Least as Much of It as Can Be Recalled Without Actually Looking Anything Up is being published by XOXOX Press, also in 2010.
Jordan has been seen on stage in such varied roles as the wise and witty “Ben Franklin” in 1776, the terrifying witch-hunter “Deputy Governor Danforth” in The Crucible, the hapless director “Lloyd Dallas” in Noises Off, and the equally hapless director “Peter Quince” in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Without script, Jordan has performed as an improv comedian with the troupe Under the Influence since 2002. He will also be premiering a Chautauqua-style “living history” presentation of the life of composer George Frideric Handel in December of 2010. In the world of film, Jordan was an extra in the classic film The Shawshank Redemption, which was shot in his home town of Mansfield, Ohio.
On the other side of the lights, Jordan has directed numerous plays at the Mansfield Playhouse, the Mount Vernon Players, the Alcove Dinner Theatre, and the Ohio State University, Mansfield, including such works as Noises Off; The Elephant Man; Drop Dead; Lie, Cheat & Genuflect; Over the River and Through the Woods; Blithe Spirit; Cash on Delivery; and Butterflies Are Free. He also mentored the writing of and directed the historical play with music, With Pen in Hand, by Mike Petee, telling the story of Daniel Decatur Emmett, the Yankee who wrote the song “Dixie.”
Jordan is in demand as a public speaker, covering such topics as “The Ghost of Ceely Rose,” “The Tetched Phoebe Wise,” “The Visionary Louis Bromfield,” “Guilty of Innocence: The Romulus Cotell Story,” “The Boy on Owl Creek Bridge,” “Literary Ohio,” “Ohio Poets,” “Central Ohio Ghost Stories,” “How to Get Into Classical Music,” “Does Humor Belong in Music,” “Kill or Be Killed: The Story of Habakan and Col. Crawford,” and much more. Jordan can also be periodically heard giving pre-concert talks for the Knox County Symphony.
Jordan has also won awards from the Associated Press, Case Western Reserve University, the Ohio State University, the Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Ohio Community Theatre Association.