Block title

Share:

About Mark

Baltimore City

Mark Scharf's picture
Mark Scharf is an award winning American playwright living in Baltimore, MD whose plays have been produced and published widely in the United States and internationally. Scharf has served as Playwright-in-Residence for Theatre Virginia’s New Voices Program and taught Playwriting at the University of Mary Washington and at Howard Community College. He has also presented Playwriting seminars for the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, The University of Mary Washington, The University of... more

Lines of Desire

LINES OF DESIRE is a new full-length play of mkine which is in the first draft stage.  I hope to have staged readings and workshops of the script tohelp me make revisions.     A line of desire can be thought of as the shortest path from one’s self to one’s desire. Other people’s desires may drive us crazy, but it is for their sake that we find the stamina to go on living. Laura is a landscape architect -- a designer of environments. In a larger way, she tries to design the environment of her life in which she can never be happy until she knows her adult son, Cal is settled and happy.
 
The play opens as Laura and her son Cal, an aspiring photographer, gather at Laura’s widowed sister Kathy’s lake house to celebrate her Kathy’s birthday. They are joined by Jackson, a famous sculptor for whom Laura left her marriage, and Brynn, Cal’s live-in girlfriend who is an aspiring painter.  
 
Laura recently designed Kathy’s backyard, which leads down to the lake. Cal struggles to coexist with Jackson, whom he blames for his mother’s divorce.  Jackson announces he wishes to give Kathy a statue as a birthday gift to be placed in the yard. Jackson says the statue will complement and publicize Kathy’s design. Cal announces his first show of his photographs and Jackson offers to help Cal.
 
Cal’s show is a disaster and he flees the wreckage with his mother in pursuit leaving Brynn to fall under Jackson’s spell. Later, everyone but Cal gathers to unveil Jackson’s statue in Kathy’s backyard. Brynn has now left Cal to become Jackson’s new personal assistant and learn the ropes of the art world. Cal arrives later to confront Brynn and his lack of success. The unveiling doesn’t go as planned as Cal strikes back against Jackson for the damage he believes he has caused her family by attacking his statue with a hammer.
 
All of the characters remain trapped in their lives after all that happens to them, but they are changed by their experience; we recognize ourselves in them because we have been allowed to see their hopes, fears and dreams.
 

  • Lines of Desire 10 pages.pdf

    A line of desire can be thought of as the shortest path from one’s self to one’s desire. Other people’s desires may drive us crazy, but it is for their sake that we find the stamina to go on living. Laura is a landscape architect -- a designer of environments. In a larger way, she tries to design the environment of her life in which she can never be happy until she knows her adult son, Cal is settled and happy.

    The play opens as Laura and her son Cal, an aspiring photographer, gather at Laura’s widowed sister Kathy’s lake house to celebrate her Kathy’s birthday. They are joined by Jackson, a famous sculptor for whom Laura left her marriage, and Brynn, Cal’s live-in girlfriend who is an aspiring painter.

    Laura recently designed Kathy’s backyard, which leads down to the lake. Cal struggles to coexist with Jackson, whom he blames for his mother’s divorce. Jackson announces he wishes to give Kathy a statue as a birthday gift to be placed in the yard. Jackson says the statue will complement and publicize Kathy’s design. Cal announces his first show of his photographs and Jackson offers to help Cal.

    Cal’s show is a disaster and he flees the wreckage with his mother in pursuit leaving Brynn to fall under Jackson’s spell. Later, everyone but Cal gathers to unveil Jackson’s statue in Kathy’s backyard. Brynn has now left Cal to become Jackson’s new personal assistant and learn the ropes of the art world. Cal arrives later to confront Brynn and his lack of success. The unveiling doesn’t go as planned as Cal strikes back against Jackson for the damage he believes he has caused her family by attacking his statue with a hammer.

    All of the characters remain trapped in their lives after all that happens to them, but they are changed by their experience; we recognize ourselves in them because we have been allowed to see their hopes, fears and dreams.

    PDF icon Lines of Desire 10 pages.pdf

The Monroe Doctrine

The development of a new full-length play from staged readings to workshops to production.

SUMMARY of  The Monroe Doctrine:
What does success mean in America? What does it mean when you don’t make it? In THE MONROE DOCTRINE, poet and adjunct professor REAL MONROE tries to hold his world together from his trailer on Hog Island on Maryland’s eastern shore.  Its’s Memorial Day weekend and the men of the family gather for what may be the last time to meet the wishes of Real’s Korean War veteran father, an assisted living facility refugee. When Real’s estranged sons arrive, expectations and reality collide and even the students he has tried to help leave him scrambling for solid ground in a shifting landscape of obligations and power. The play can be thought of as an elegy to the lost place of the artist in the world and to twentieth century versions of masculinity, the ideal now which is ever changing like a shape shifter with amnesia.

What's Happened So Far;

A 2018 Eugene O’Neill National Theater Conference Semi-Finalist and a winner of a 2018 Maryland Stage Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Playwriting.

Development: Mark has been working on this play since completing the first draft in 2015. Two staged readings of the play followed by talk-backs will open the Arts Garage Theatre season on November 17th, 2019 in Delray Beach, Fla.

For the past year, Mark has been working on this play with NYC director Sue Lawless for whom Mark acted for during summer stock. Sue has worked under every SDC contract including Broadway (Five O’Clock Girl), Off-Broadway (Drama Desk nomination for In Gay Company), off off-Broadway as in The Fringe and La Mama and as   Artistic Director of Queens Theatre in the Park in the early 80’s.

The Quickening -- workshop to production

THE QUICKENING

A Theatre Ghost Story

The Quickening explores the age-old questions regarding the end of life and how science, religion and folklore seek to provide answers.

     While most of the work seen onstage in Baltimore is written by playwrights who live outside of the mid-Atlantic, we are delighted to announce an investment in local playwright Mark Scharf. Over the course of nine months, The Collaborative Theatre, in partnership with Fells Point Corner Theatre, will work to develop his new play, The Quickening, in preparation for a fully staged production in June 2018.

     Any new play requires careful consideration, thoughtful feedback, and several rounds of rewrites before it is ready for rehearsal. This workshop process is designed both to hone the script and showcase the many aspects of production work that go into creating a complete evening of theatre.

     We invite you to be in the room for this unique process, including table reads, design presentations, cast discussions, and open rehearsals. At each workshop event, audience members will be invited to share their thoughts about the work-in-progress and contribute to the creation of a brand new work of art.

     The Workshop Package includes access to each of these workshop events, along with a ticket to opening night of this world premiere ghost story on June 8, 2018. Ever wondered how plays go from page to stage? Join us for the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience!

      What if the brain receives consciousness, like your computer downloads a program from the Internet, instead of generating consciousness? Does that mean your consciousness does not end when your body dies?

     The Quickening, a ghost story for the stage, tells the tale of Matt and Beth Wells, a young couple expecting their first child, as they move into their new home on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia;, built where a skirmish occurred during the Civil War. Happy, but overwhelmed, Beth is soon puzzled and frightened by unexplained events that at first, only she experiences. These events propel her to discover the story behind the supernatural activity in her new home and to try and save her baby. 

     With the help of her mathematician neighbor and her earthy mother from Baltimore, she must not only discover the truth, but overcome her own fears and the hostile skepticism of her husband to face the unknown and save her unborn child. But does she succeed?

The Details:

  • Wednesday, October 18, 7pm: Join the cast for the first official table reading of the play, followed by a discussion of character, themes, and plot.
  • Saturday, January 13, 1pm: Cast and crew gather to read the newest draft of the script aloud, and to view and discuss in-progress design plans from the costume, set, sound, and lighting designers.
  • Thursday, February 15, 7pm: The director and cast begin the official rehearsal process with blocking and preliminary character work. Additional script changes are discussed.
  • Saturday, March 10, 1pm: Work continues with the evolving script. The director and cast work closely with the playwright to finalize plot and dialogue.
  • Thursday, April 19, 7pm: Arriving at a final draft of the script, the cast begins to settle into the world of the play, exploring the rhythm of the text and the characters' voices.
  • Sunday, May 13, 2pm: The play comes to life with the addition of set elements, props, and costume pieces.

Connect with Mark

Mark's Curated Collection

View Mark's favorite works from other Baker Artists

Lines of Desire 10 pages.pdf

A line of desire can be thought of as the shortest path from one’s self to one’s desire. Other people’s desires may drive us crazy, but it is for their sake that we find the stamina to go on living. Laura is a landscape architect -- a designer of environments. In a larger way, she tries to design the environment of her life in which she can never be happy until she knows her adult son, Cal is settled and happy.

The play opens as Laura and her son Cal, an aspiring photographer, gather at Laura’s widowed sister Kathy’s lake house to celebrate her Kathy’s birthday. They are joined by Jackson, a famous sculptor for whom Laura left her marriage, and Brynn, Cal’s live-in girlfriend who is an aspiring painter.

Laura recently designed Kathy’s backyard, which leads down to the lake. Cal struggles to coexist with Jackson, whom he blames for his mother’s divorce. Jackson announces he wishes to give Kathy a statue as a birthday gift to be placed in the yard. Jackson says the statue will complement and publicize Kathy’s design. Cal announces his first show of his photographs and Jackson offers to help Cal.

Cal’s show is a disaster and he flees the wreckage with his mother in pursuit leaving Brynn to fall under Jackson’s spell. Later, everyone but Cal gathers to unveil Jackson’s statue in Kathy’s backyard. Brynn has now left Cal to become Jackson’s new personal assistant and learn the ropes of the art world. Cal arrives later to confront Brynn and his lack of success. The unveiling doesn’t go as planned as Cal strikes back against Jackson for the damage he believes he has caused her family by attacking his statue with a hammer.

All of the characters remain trapped in their lives after all that happens to them, but they are changed by their experience; we recognize ourselves in them because we have been allowed to see their hopes, fears and dreams.