When Shotgun Players was looking for a playwright from the Bay Area to write a play about South Berkeley, it was Marcus Gardley who got the gig. The result being “Love is a Dream House in Lorin,” which was community theater in the truest of senses — the cast of 30 people ranged in age from 9 to 69, consisted of professional actors and residents of the neighborhood.
Although Gardley lives in New York, he continues to work on projects about the Bay Area community. Spark catches up with the poet and playwright as he works on “Love Song for the Night in Gail.”
“Love Song” was workshopped at the Traveling Jewish Theatre while still in the writing phase. This process important to Gardley, provides him a deeper insight into his characters’ mind by utilizing what he considers the most valuable resource a playwright has: actors. For him, it is the actors’ whose embodiment of the characters brings them to life.
Born and raised in Oakland, Marcus Gardley authored his first play as an undergraduate at San Francisco State. He then went on to earn an M.F.A. at Yale School of Drama and now teaches creative writing at Columbia University in New York.