Carol K. Mack is a playwright whose plays have been produced in venues all over the world. Her work covers a wide variety of genres and styles from thrillers to comic one acts. As an educator, she taught “Life Stories”, a course in fiction writing, for 15 years at New York University as adjunct professor. She also taught at Marymount College. Carol doesn’t believe in “writing what you know” because there is so much to learn and even more to imagine! She taught a myth-based writing class at Tisch School of the Arts graduate theatre program,and taught “The Comic Voice”, a writing class at Fordham. She has always loved learning and teaching and many of her projects have given her a chance to expand her knowledge.
Her first off-broadway play, ESTHER, was produced by Lucille Lortel at the White Barn Theatre in Westport, Connecticut,and then at the Promenade Theatre in NYC. In order to write ESTHER she learned to read Hebrew, and had a chance to research ancient texts with the help of biblical scholars including Theodore Gaster. Her next play, A SAFE PLACE, was produced at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in collaboration with Roger Stevens and the Kennedy Center. As the play was about cults and involved aspects of field work in anthropology, she was greatly assisted by Dr. Robert Carneiro from the Museum of Natural History. A SAFE PLACE won the Stanley Award. The BTF also produced her play SURVIVAL GAMES on the Unicorn Stage. TERRITORIAL RITES was produced by the Women’s Project at the American Place Theatre in NYC and was selected as a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn prize and also a finalist for the CBS/FDG Award. She was invited to Denver Theatre Center to work on her play (then called) AMERICAN DREAMER in their Prima Facie series. That play won the Julie Harris/Beverly Hills Award and she was invited to Los Angeles to hear it read there. THE ACCIDENT was produced at American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge. IN HER SIGHT was produced at the Humana Festival of the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Later, a very revised version of In Her Sight, called WITHOUT A TRACE, was directed by Gerda Stevenson, first as a staged reading at the Traverse in Edinburgh and then at the Tron in Glasgow where it was produced by Sounds of Progress and then toured Scotland.
During this period of time she wrote many one acts which have been published and produced in venues throughout the USA and in Japan. Her one acts have been selected for four different editions of BEST SHORT AMERICAN PLAYS (1984-1985;1990;1993-1994; 2006-2007). Her plays are also included in 30 Ten-minute Plays for 2 actors, Smith Kraus; One on One, The Best Women’s Monologues for the 90’s, Applause; Solo! The Best Monologues of the 80’s (women), Applause; Even More Monologues for Women by Women, Heinemann; POSTCARDS & Other Short Plays, Samuel French; Humana Festival ’97 Complete Plays, Smith Kraus.
Between plays, she wrote THE CHAMELEON VARIANT,a medical thriller,with her cousin, Dr. David Ehrenfeld, originally published by Dial, Sphere, and then in German by BasteiLubbe. She wrote A FIELD GUIDE TO DEMONS, VAMPIRES, FALLEN ANGELS & Other Subversive Spirits with her daughter, Dinah Mack, a teacher who holds a MA in Cultural Anthropology (Carol Mack also received an MA in Religious Studies at NYU in 1992). Their book was first published by Arcade, then by Profile Books in London and the latest edition of A FIELD GUIDE, published by Skyhorse in 2011 with Arcade imprint, in 2012 was in the top 100 on Kindle at Amazon books.
After years of writing fiction and imagining various worlds she stopped (as did many fiction writers) at 9/11. After that, she turned to documentary theatre and to political subjects. Her one act THE COURIER is about the Patriot Act, and was included in BEST SHORT AMERICAN PLAYS 2007. She received a commission from Theatre J and the Foundation for Jewish Culture to write her play, THE VISITOR, about an incident involving free speech and hate speech in New York City in 1895. She was greatly assisted by members of the Shomrim Society, an organization of Jewish members of the NYPD (some of whom she interviewed). THE VISITOR has been staged at the June Havoc Theatre by the Negro Ensemble company and by the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University. Her latest project began when she conceived and organized a documentary theatre piece in connection with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an NGO headquartered in Washington, DC that develops and connects women leaders in 80 countries around the world. She gathered a group of award-winning women playwrights and each of the seven writers interviewed one international women leader connected to the Vital Voices Global Partnership network. Each writer created a monologue of that woman’s life. She was honored to work with Inez McCormack and wrote "Seeing Another Country" as a monologue based on the life of Inez and in her words. Over time the playwrights wove the monologues into a collaborative documentary theatre piece, SEVEN, which opened in New York City and has been translated into over twenty eight languages thus far and has been performed all over the world! The power of SEVEN to encourage approaches to women's rights and human rights has resulted in many wonderful reports from different communities and it has its own website http://www.seventheplay.com linked to our honored women's websites and to each playwright’s website. Inez McCormack passed away in 2013 after living a remarkable life that changed the world for the better. It was an honor to work with her, to get to know her organization Participation & Practice of Rights Project in Belfast and to become a close friend. SEVEN is published in English along with the seven monologues by Dramatists Play Service. It has been translated by Riho Mitachi to Japanese and is now published in Tokyo by Jiritsu Shobo.
In 2010 SEVEN was performed at the Hudson Theatre, New York City, to start off the Women in The World conference and was introduced by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. It starred Meryl Streep as Inez McCormack. SEVEN has been performed in the USA in Washington, DC, in Chicago, Massachusetts and at USC in California, in Sarasota and in Seattle. The play has been performed around the world from Deauville, France to Delhi, India to Buenos Aires and to London. SEVEN was performed in the Great Hall of Parliament in Belfast, Northern Ireland, at the Hague, Abuja, Nigeria, all over Sweden and recently to Brussels, Serbia, Finland, and St. Petersburg, Russia, Tokyo and continues to reach audiences around the globe.
Carol K Mack has been a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Italy. She is a member of PEN, The Dramatists Guild, the Authors Guild, the League of Professional Theatre Women, and she is an alumna of New Dramatists.