Marshall W. Mason (born February 24, 1940) is an American theater director, educator and author. He was the founder and for eighteen years, artistic director of the Circle Repertory Company in New York City (1969-1987).
Born in Amarillo, Texas, Mason graduated in 1961 with a B.S. in theater from Northwestern University, where he directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the age of 19, winning his first award for directing. Upon graduating, he relocated to Manhattan, where he began working in the off-off-Broadway theater scene in such venues as Caffe Cino, the La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and Judson Poets Theatre. He made his off-Broadway debut in 1964 with a revival of the Henrik Ibsen play Little Eyolf. His Broadway debut was on February 24, 1976 with Jules Feiffer´s Knock Knock.
Mason has directed twelve productions on Broadway and has been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play five times. His first Broadway production was the 1976 play Knock Knock by Jules Feiffer, for which he received his first Tony nomination. Additional Broadway credits include Albert Innaurato's Gemini (1977), Robert Clark and Sam Bobrick's Murder at the Howard Johnson's (1979), Wilsons' Fifth of July (1980), Talley's Folly (1980), Angels Fall (1983), Peter Nichols' Passion (1983), William M. Hoffman's As Is (Drama Desk Award for Best Play, 1985), Wilson's Burn This (1988), Chekhov's The Seagull (1992), Rupert Holmes' Solitary Confinement (1992) and Wilson's Redwood Curtain (1992). From 1983 to 1986, Mason was president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national labor union.
Off-Broadway Mason was awarded five Obies for Outstanding Direction for The Hot l Baltimore (1973), the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams' Battle of Angels (1974), Wilson's The Mound Builders (1975), Jules Feiffer's Knock Knock (1976), Wilson's Serenading Louie (1976), and a sixth Obie Award for Sustained Achievement (1983). Memorable off-Broadway productions he directed include Edward J. Moore's The Sea Horse (1974), Romulus Linney's Childe Byron (1981), Wilson's Talley & Son (1985), William Mastrosimone's Sunshine (1989), Larry Kramer's The Destiny of Me (1992), Wilson's Sympathetic Magic (1997) and Book of Days (2002).
For television, Mason directed William Inge’s Picnic, Lanford Wilson’s The Mound Builders and Fifth of July, and Robert Patrick’s Kennedy's Children. He received two Cable ACE Award nominations for his productions on Showtime.
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