Texas Tech University

Meet the Director

Mark Charney, Ph.D.

Mark Charney served as Director of Theatre for the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University for many years before retiring as a Professor Emeritus and accepting the role of Director of the School of Theatre and Dance at Texas Tech University. A past Chair for Region IV, a past member of the National Selection Team, and presently National Coordinator of Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy/Dramaturgy for KCACTF, Mark just finished an 18-year job as Associate Director of the National Critics Institute for the O'Neill Theatre Center. He is also on the National Board of NAST (the National Association of Schools of Theatre and Artistic Director of the International Association of Schools of Southeast Asia.

His play, The Power Behind the Palette, won the David Mark Cohen Award and received a stage reading at ATHE in Los Angeles. His The Balloon Handler Makes Good was performed at the New Plays Festival in California, the ATHE development process at ATHE in Washington, DC, at the Ten for Tenn Festival and the Warner International Festival in 2012. Clayton Tells a Fib, was performed in Tennessee and California and his new version of Antigone, Dangling Modifiers, premiered at the New Works Festival summer of 2016, His 61-page chapter on "The Entertainment Marketplace from 2000-2014" was published in Screenwriting by Rutgers Press August of 2014. His play Shooting Blanks was featured at the Prague Fringe Festival in June of 2016. Dr. Charney's Incline/Decline was performed in Austin during the fall of 2014, and he was made Playwright-in-Residence at Two Beards Theatre in Austin, Texas immediately after for two years.

Mark was an invited guest to the Actors Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Los Angeles, where he received an award for his work in criticism and dramaturgy nationwide and made an honorary inductee.

Recent awards and accolades include: the Williams Kerns Award for Achievement in Performing Arts; induction into the Actors Hall of Fame; two gold medallions from the Kennedy Center; 15 Awards for Faculty Excellence from the Clemson University Board of Trustees; Seven Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center for Directing; Winner of the David Mark Cohen Award for Playwriting; Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry; and The Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence.

Charney's new goals are international. He recently partnered the School of Theatre and Dance with both the Performing Arts Program in Hong Kong and Bilkent University, the “Yale” of Turkey. Under his leadership, the School of Theatre and Dance was invited to be part of the prestigious International Theatre Institute and partner with schools in Romania for the prestigious Erasmus program. His collaboratively-written play, Public Domain: A Play with Footnotes, premiered at the Second International Festival in Sharjah, and his play, written with Cory Norman, Empty Roads with Cars, premiered at the Bilkent University Theatre Festival in Turkey. He also serves as the Artistic Director for the Schools of Southeast Asia, taking him to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur. He was recently commissioned, along with Cory Norman, to write a play about the life of Dr. Kevorkian, If Christ Were Born in a Barn, Dyin' in a Van Ain't so Bad, and he's presently working as a Story Consultant for a potential television series, Curio.

Mark Charney came to Lubbock in 2012, immediately setting goals for the School of Theatre and Dance to rise to new levels of academic success by arranging for students to attend the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown and creating experiential education programs such as WildWind Performance Lab and the Marfa Intensives. Along with Marcelo Schmidt, he published a paper on how best to assess creative work. Collaborating with fellow faculty members, staff, and students, Dr. Charney has cultivated community outreach programs, a theatre program for autistic students through the Burkhart Center known as the BurkTech Players, and helped the department become the TTU School of Theatre & Dance for the 2015-2016 school year. Under his leadership, he led the first full found space/site specific season ever at TTU.

He is especially proud of the new 50 million dollar performance facility, and looks forward to continuing to make Lubbock our campus.