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The Man Behind the Mystery

November 23, 2022

Benedict Burgess

By TJ Lewis

He was named one of the top 20 most-produced playwrights in 2015 and 2016 by American Theatre Magazine. He’s been called “the man who may be America’s premier biographical playwright” by Playbill. He is the winner of the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play for his work, Camping with Henry and Tom. Now, Mark St. Germain returns to Sarasota’s contemporary theatre with a mystery for the ages.

A fan of the provocative, St. Germain has made a name for himself writing controversial biographic plays that put unlikely voices in the same space and have them confront their ideological differences.

“Mark St. Germain is one of my favorite living playwrights,” said FST’s Producing Artistic Director, Richard Hopkins. FST’s production history is a testament to Hopkins’ high esteem for St. Germain, whose work has appeared frequently in FST’s Mainstage and Stage III Seasons, with productions like The Best of Enemies (2012), Freud’s Last Session (2014), Dancing Lessons (2014), Becoming Dr. Ruth (2015), and Relativity (2016).

Other plays by St. Germain include Ears on a Beatle, The God Committee, Out of Gas on Lover’s Leap, Typhoid Mary, and Gertrude and Claudius, which is also having its World Premiere this year. St. Germain’s writing credits span from stage to screen with TV and film credits including The Cosby Show.

Mark St. Germain has made such an impact in the theatre community that Barrington Stage Company named a theater after him. Located in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center at Barrington Stage Company, the St. Germain Stage is an intimate and charming 132-seat house. “It was really a very big surprise,” St. Germain shared with Playbill writer Robert Simonson. “The Blatts… wanted the Stage 2 named [after] me. I still can’t believe it.”

With a strong commitment to play development, FST was eager to help one of its favorite playwrights develop something new. Two years ago, Hopkins asked St. Germain to write a play about issues that are not being represented on the stage.

“Mark came up with a great detective mystery that positions cops, lawyers, and intellectuals, in the mayhem of murder…,” says Hopkins of Wednesday’s Child. “It’s an exciting and funny play that gives us all a much needed kaleidoscope of views.”

Even with such an expansive portfolio, Hopkins’ prompting resulted in a brand new challenge for Mark: writing a mystery play — his very first.

“I’m fortunate to have had several of my plays done at Florida Studio Theatre,” said St. Germain. “[FST] has been incredibly supportive of my work. This has been an ideal partnership that I hope continues long into the future.”