Mark Medoff Tony Winning Playwright Passes at 79
By: Mary Patricia
April 23, 2019 - Mark Medoff, a Tony Award winning Playwright loved by many, passed away at the age of 79 years old. Actresses and Actors in the community are paying tribute to Mark Medoff who wrote Children of a Lesser God. The play was initially shown on Broadway where Phyllis Frelich played the role of Sarah. The same role was later played by Marlee Matlin. Per The New York Times, his daughter confirmed his death via Facebook. He was 79.
On top of writing over 30 plays, Medoff was a screenwriter, stage and film director, actor, and educator at New Mexico State University. He was also the co-founder of the American Southwest Theatre Company.
Michelle Schaefer shared a beautiful tribute on Facebook to him.
Rest In Peace Mark Medoff, who wrote Children of a Lesser God. He made it happen for the late Phyllis Frelich to shine on Broadway and then Marlee Matlin who also shine and carried on the role in the film version. If it wasn’t for that I would never became an actress. At the same time I will always cherish Mark’s kind words about my reviews of me as Sarah Norman in several productions and his recommendations for me the role on Broadway revival of Children of a Lesser God in my heart. Thank you Mark. (Michelle Schaefer)
Marlee Matlin took the time to share her thoughts about the writer.
Deaf in Media on Twitter shared how Phyllis Frelich (who passed away in 2014) had been the reason why he required that deaf actresses/actors were selected for certain roles in his play, the Children of a Lesser god.
Actors such as Neil Patrick Harris also paid tribute to him on Twitter, “Playwright Mark Medoff passed away today (Tuesday April 23, 2019). He essentially discovered me, I owe my career to him. Wrote Clara’s Heart, championed me for the role. Without him, I’d be nowhere. RIP, Mark. Thank you. Sending love to his amazing family..“ The Theatre community has lost a great playwright.