Writers // Mark Leydorf
Mark Leydorf has written the books and lyrics for three musicals, Citizen Ruth, The Fisher King and Nana, all with music by Michael Brennan, a composer and musical director based in Las Vegas. Citizen Ruth, adapted from the film satire by Alexander Payne, was well received at its first reading at New York Theatre Workshop, in 2005, and at a subsequent workshop at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., in 2007. Ruth went on to win Best Musical in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival, in a production that was directed by Woolly’s Howard Shalwitz, choreographed by Tony nominee Dan Knechtges, and designed by Tony winners Christopher Akerlind and Neil Patel. The Fisher King was likewise read at NYTW, in 2008, and workshopped with the Musical Theater BFA students at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, in January 2010. Nana, adapted from Emile Zola’s scandalous tragi-comedy about a voracious courtesan, has yet to be presented anywhere.
A native of Tennessee, Leydorf got his BA in English up north, at Yale. He wrote two plays in high school and another two as an undergraduate, but apart from occasional features for POZ magazine, he didn’t return to writing until 2002. He has worked as an actor off and on for twenty years (he met Brennan doing Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas). On Broadway, he had a small role in the Roundabout’s revival of The Ritz; further downtown, he has appeared with numerous companies, including Clubbed Thumb, La Mama, Nada, Here, Target Margin, New Georges, Cucaracha, the Women’s Project, Reverie Productions and Theatre of Necessity. Regionally, he’s done everything from Copenhagen (Delaware Theatre Company) and Arcadia (Portland Stage) to Oklahoma! (The Hangar) and Witness for the Prosecution (Cincinnati Playhouse/St. Louis Rep). And, yes, he’s been on Law & Order: SVU.Leydorf is a proud member of the Dramatists’ Guild and Actors’ Equity.