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Mark Medoff is Uni. Houston's New Director School & Dance

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The Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff (Children of a Lesser God and When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?) has joined the theatre faculty at the University of Houston - where he will take over the role of teaching playwriting at the UH, following in the footsteps of Edward Albee and Lanford Wilson - it has been announced by the director of the University of Houston's School of Theatre & Dance, Steven Wallace.

Medoff's new affiliation with UH continues the University's long tradition with world-renowned theatre artists who have previously taught at the School of Theatre & Dance, including the Pulitzer Prize-winners Mr. Albee and Mr. Wilson, as well as acclaimed directors Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. Mr. Albee helmed a UH playwriting workshop that was named for him from 1989 to 2003 before handing the reins to Mr. Wilson, who oversaw student playwriting from 2004 to 2007.

In his "Playwriting" course, Mr. Medoff will assist aspiring playwrights as they craft news plays that will be developed through the course of the semester and, ultimately, will be presented in staged readings during the UH New Play Festival in spring 2008. The following fall semester, he will continue to oversee these plays, some of which may become part of the spring 2009 "Producing New Plays" class, and see fully-realized productions.

Mr. Medoff has previously taught at New Mexico State University, as well as at University of Oklahoma, and Florida State University, where he worked alongside MR. Wallace during the latter's tenures at both schools before moving to the position at UH School of Theatre &Dance earlier this year.

Medoff will join an esteemed UH theater faculty that includes Distinguished Professor (and Houston Shakespeare Festival founder) Sidney Berger and Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow.

Medoff's playwriting credits include 1974's "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?" and 1980's "Children of a Lesser God," which received the Tony for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play. Medoff adapted both of these plays for film. He was nominated for an Oscar for his screen adaptation of "Children of Lesser God." Other screenwriting credits include "Clara's Heart" starring Whoopi Goldberg and "City of Joy" starring Patrick Swayze. He has also made brief acting appearances in some of the films he's written. His directing credits include the 2002 film "Children on Their Birthdays" and stage productions of "Waiting for Godot," "Equus," "Hot L Baltimore" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

The University of Houston School of Theatre &Dance offers bachelor's and master's degrees in theatre, teacher certifications in dance and a master of fine arts. Each fall and spring, the school produces four plays performed in the Wortham Theatre, two dance concerts, the Stuart Ostrow Musical Theatre Workshop, various student productions, the Houston Shakespeare Festival and The Children's Theatre Festival.

For more information on the school, visit www.hfac.uh.edu/theatre.

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