Tim Marks
Playwright

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"Raises questions about politics, morality, and whether humanity can persevere in the face of brutality and war."


"That was over twenty years ago. I never got back—never will now. It's like Terry says: I'm just another English Paddy."

 

Tim Marks - A Biography

Timothy Marks was born in the city of Newport, or Casnewydd-ar-Wysg, in South Wales, the youngest of three children. His father had moved there from Waterford, in the Republic of Ireland; his mother was from the Pillgwenlly district of Newport. His family situation was an unstable one, to say the least, and when his parents finally split up, Marks was sent to a children's home for seven years. These early experiences would have a profound effect, and would eventually inspire two plays, Eve's Barette and The Naz.

Picture of Tim Marks

Marks moved to the East End of London as a teenager to live with his mother. Although these were difficult years, marked by poverty and a host of other hardships, the vibrant and diverse atmosphere had a huge impact. At that time, every corner of Britain was represented in the East End - indeed, every corner of the world - and it was there that Marks developed his ear for speech and dialect, as well as a lingering fondness for Trojan Records. Throughout this time, Marks worked in a host of jobs, everything from a dishwasher (or "pearldiver") to a soldier of the British Army. In the end, however, he pursued his trade as a French polisher, first in London, then, after emigrating with his wife and two-year-old son to the United States in 1984, in Baltimore.

Marks began to get involved in the Baltimore/Washington theatre community in the early 90s - as an actor, at first. In 1993, he began looking for a monologue he could use in auditions that was in his own accent after several failed attempts at the radio speech from Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and so put together a short speech, based on his own experiences as a soldier in Belfast. Marks soon realized the monologue itself was better than his delivery, and built an entire show around it - Locating the Plant. The same year that Plant was "born", Marks also had a more literal child, a daughter.

Marks quit acting to focus on writing. Pearldivers was his second play, followed quickly by Refuge of Scoundrels and The Fever of Warmth and Darkness. Through 1995 and 1996, Marks enjoyed mixed success with the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, but soon found greener pastures in New York City. Plant was produced for the first time off-Broadway in 1996, Pearldivers three years later, and Plant again in 2000.

In 2001, Marks returned to writing with Eve's Barette, an intensely personal piece, before moving towards a more abstract exploration of the human condition in 2002's The Judas Ballot - his first play not based directly on his personal experiences. The same year, he completed The Cleric, which was the first of his plays inspired by current events.

With the experience he'd built up as a playwright, Marks began to explore the possibilities of the screen, applying his gifts with language and his acidic sense of humor to a very different medium. To date he has authored two screenplays, The English Crew and The Tradition.

Marks returned to the New York stage in fall of 2006 with a production of The Cleric, which startled audiences with its startling and vivid look into the nature of humanity in a time of war. The reviewers were also pleasantly surprised by the "thought-provoking, often ambiguous play".

Tim Marks currently lives outside Baltimore with his wife, Catherine. He has two children.