Mark Medoff

Mark Medoff

Tony Award Winning Playwright


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About Mark Medoff

Mark Medoff received a Tony for Children of a Lesser God and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Award for the work's film script. He received an Obie Award for When You Comin Back, Red Ryder?. Medoff served as a Distinguished Achievement Professor at New Mexico State University where he was on faculty and an artist in residence since 1966. Children of a Lesser God made its return to Broadway in a new production starring Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff in 2018. Medoff passed away on April 23rd, 2019, surrounded by his closest friends and adoring family.


The movie The Heart Outright, based on Mark’s 1992 play, directed by Mark’s son in law, Ross Marks, has been purchased for distribution after screening at a half dozen film festivals. The film stars two of Mark’s former acting students and his youngest daughter, Jessica Medoff Bunchman. 

Mark and his family created The Hope E. Harrison Foundation to raise awareness and finance research to end the chromosomal anomaly Trisomy 18, which afflicts Mark’s five-year old granddaughter, Hope. He periodically claimed a book would forthcoming, Hope Full: A Reckoning With the Universe, but he could not stop writing about the effect on his family of this remarkable little girl.

Children of a Lesser God re-opened on Broadway on April 11, 2019, Hope’s birthday.

The first line of the published version of Children of a Lesser God still holds true thirty-eight years later: “It seems, finally, to be about family.”

Mark and his wife Stephanie’s greatest achievement in life is their three daughters, and eight grandchildren.


Published in 1979, Children of a Lesser God focuses on the conflicted professional and romantic relationship between deaf former student, Sarah Norman, and her teacher, James Leeds. 

A new production of Children of a Lesser God returned to Broadway in April, 2018.


The setting is Foster's Diner, a New Mexico rest stop that lost most of its clientele when a new highway bypass opened.

Complications arise when illegal drugs and guns enter the picture, and one patron resorts to physical, mental, and emotional torture when he holds everyone hostage.


Stephen ("Red Ryder") swore
he would never return to New Mexico
after a tragic ordeal.

When his Mother dies, he is forced back home to confront his past,
while falling back in love with the
woman he left all those years ago.


Amelia is on the run in the family RV, with husband Jack's body in the back and hostage Darryl at the wheel.

Romance blossoms as Jack decomposes.

The Hope E. Harrison T18 Foundation
is a non-profit organization with the
joint mission to increase awareness of Trisomy 18 and to raise funds for
scientific research.


Leona escapes to Jamaica to grieve the loss of her baby daughter, Edith. While there she meets kindly housekeeper Clara Mayfiel, who pulls Leona out of her depression with her no-nonsense style.