Markus Potter is the Producing Artistic Director of NewYorkRep. Recent direction includes the off-Broadway production of Stalking the Bogeyman at New World Stages (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination, NYTimes critics' pick), London’s Southwark Playhouse (Off West End Award nomination for best production and direction), Church & State at New World Stages (off-Broadway Alliance nomination, best new play), Red Speedo at Center Rep (Bay Area Critics recommended, Shellie Award nomination for best direction), Lost Boy Found In Whole Foods by Tammy Ryan at The Portland Stage Company, Why You Beasting by David Don Miller (Time Out NY critics' pick). As an actor, seasons at The Guthrie Theatre, Long Wharf, Berkeley Rep, ACT, Denver Center, Tour of Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd. As producer: The Velocity of Autumn on Broadway (Estelle Parsons's Tony Award nomination).
Markus received his MFA from Columbia University, where he worked closely with Anne Bogart and Kristin Linklater for many years. He a Professor of Theatre at the University of Kansas and has taught around the country at University of Minneapolis/Guthrie Theatre’s BFA program, The National Theatre Conservatory/Denver Center MFA program, Adelphi University, American Musical and Dramatic Academy of Arts, and The New Hampshire Institute of Art where he served as mentor to the MFA playwrights.
Markus is from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was raised by his mother who emigrated from Germany, and his step-father, a civil rights activist and Montford Point Marine, who was recently awarded by the White House, the Congressional Gold Medal for “outstanding perseverance and courage that inspired social change in the Marines.”
The New York Times called Potter’s work “Breathtaking chilling and dynamic”, giving Stalking the Bogeyman the heralded critic’s pick. Rex Reed of the New York Observer described Potter’s direction as “Potent stuff that never soft soaps the issues and leaves you stunned. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
New York Theatre described Potter’s direction as “Impeccable in it’s stage craft & elaborately detailed.” The Huffington Post declared it as “Careful and cogent direction.” The Bergen Record called a production “An intense drama presented with an unfussy simplicity and clarity”, naming it the “10 best plays of the year.” Neil Genzlinger, of The New York Times described Potter’s production as “Compelling. till thinking about it 24 hours later.”
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
I had an extraordinarily rich childhood growing up in a multi-racial family. My Mother is white and my stepfather who joined our family when I was young was black. His children were black and Native American. His oldest son married a Japanese woman. His youngest daughter married a Hispanic man.
My family also has diverse cultural ideology. My maternal grandfather and birth father served on opposite sides in WWI. My birthfather’s parents were Russian Jews while my mother was born in Nazi-controlled Germany during WWII.
My step-father, who raised me, was a civil rights activist, and the first African American to move into an all-white neighborhood of Concord, CA. He was among the first African Americans to serve in the Marines. He and the rest of the Montford Point Marines were recently presented with the Congressional Gold Medal for, “outstanding perseverance and courage that inspired social change in the Marines”.
Growing up with my father, I learned about some of the challenges he faced in his quest for equity. Schools were still segregated when he was young. He had to walk past the white school to the poorly supplied black school. When he reached adulthood, his father advised him to leave the state because he didn’t believe his son would have any future in Texas. When he joined the Marines, his enlistment was delayed because the postman refused to deliver his acceptance letter because he didn’t believe the Marines would want a black man.
My father inspired me to bring awareness, understanding, and fair play to all members of our community. I have never forgotten my roots nor my privilege, and as a result, I possess a deep sense of gratitude and social responsibility in my work, and will continue to advocate for an American Theatre that represents a daring, diverse and inclusive body of work.