MA from Cambridge University – where he read English at Gonville and Caius College and was state educated in the UK at Primrose Hill Primary School, and Woolverstone Hall School
A British director, actor and teacher - from 1988-1990, Wing-Davey was Artistic Director of the Acting Course at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He had directed and taught there over the course of 15 years and in early1990 originated the project about the Rumanian Revolution which was to become the internationally award-winning play by Caryl Churchill, MAD FOREST. MAD FOREST played in London, at Central School, then the National Theatre in Bucharest and finally, it transferred to the Royal Court Theatre, in London, for an extended engagement where it received several awards.
Mark Wing-Davey first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed, award-winning production of Churchill’s MAD FOREST at New York Theatre Workshop in 1992. The production was nominated for many major awards, winning a 1992 Village Voice OBIE Award for Wing-Davey as Outstanding Director of the year. The production was later transferred to Manhattan Theatre Club where it enjoyed an extended run. Wing-Davey directed a highly successful West Coast production of MAD FOREST at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which went on to a sold-out run at Pittsburgh Public Theatre in 1993. This effectively bounced Wing-Davey, who lives in East London, into a predominantly US based directing career.
Other US and UK credits include OWNERS by Caryl Churchill (New York Theatre Workshop); THE LIGHTS by Howard Korder (Lincoln Center Theatre Company) which received seven Drama Desk nominations including Best Director; ANGELS IN AMERICA by Tony Kushner (American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco), winner of the Bay Area Critics Circle Award as Best Director; OLEANNA by David Mamet (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Shakespeare’s KING LEAR (NYU); THE CASTLE by Howard Barker (NYU); THE VISIT by Friedrich Durrenmatt (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre); MONGREL’S HEART by Mikhail Bulgakov (Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh); STAR-GAZEY PIE AND SAUERKRAUT by James Stock (Royal Court Theatre, London); SILENCE, CUNNING, EXILE by Stuart Greenman (New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre); THE BEAUX’ STRATAGEM by George Farquhar (Berkeley Repertory Theatre) for which he received a Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Best Director ; Shakespeare’s TROILUS & CRESSIDA (New York Shakespeare Festival, Delacorte Theatre in Central Park); the world premiere of GREENSBORO by Emily Mann (McCarter Theatre Company) and Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? at the Nottingham Playhouse in England. In 1997, he directed LIGHT SHINING IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE by Caryl Churchill for the Royal National Theatre in London which toured the UK under the auspices of the Royal National Theatre.
In 1996, Mr. Wing-Davey directed the U.S. premiere of Caryl Churchill’s THE SKRIKER at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, which was nominated for six 1997 Drama Desk Awards including Best Director.
In the spring of 1998, Wing-Davey directed a four-week workshop of HOUSE ARREST, by Anna Deavere Smith, at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. He was also created the first Artistic Director for the Actors Centre of London.
His 1999 directing credits include the world premiere production of FIRE EATER by Brighde Mullins at the Tristan Bates Theatre. Other productions in 1999 include Bertolt Brecht’s LIFE OF GALILEO in a new translation by David Hare at Berkeley Repertory Theatre; and the first production of MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE, a new play by Brighde Mullins which tackled neo-Darwinism and was developed through a Joint-Stock style workshop at the Graduate Acting Department of New York University.
In the summer of 2000 he participated in the Sundance Institute Theatre Program where he directed the developmental workshop of 36 VIEWS by Naomi Iizuka. He subsequently directed productions at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival /Public Theatre. For his production of 36 VIEWS at the Public Theatre he was nominated for a 2002 Lucille Lortel Award as Best Director. He also directed the UK premiere of PASSION PLAY by Sarah Ruhl (parts I & II) at the Tristan Bates Theatre, SEX1 : DEATH 2 and WE HAVEN’T SAID A PORKY PIE YET with Non-Fiction Theatre Company, for the Edinburgh Festival. In early 2002 he decided to step down from the Artistic Directorship of the Actors Centre later that year in order to concentrate more on freelance work.
Mark Wing-Davey has been a visiting professor in NYU’s Graduate Acting Program during several semesters since 1993, and in October 2002 presented a startling version of Euripides’ WOMEN OF TROY which included a half hour prologue from Homer’s ILIAD delivered by a military chorus of undergraduate ephebes. He has given master classes and workshops at NYU, Yale School of Drama, Yale University, Barnard College, Columbia University, Princeton University, ACT (San Francisco), Muhlenberg College, UC Berkeley, The Actors Centre (London) and BADA (London & Oxford). He has just completed a stint as the external examiner for the RADA 3 year professional acting course.
He directed the Rosenthal Prize-winning play THE LOVE SONG OF J. ROBERT OPPENHEIMER by Carson Kreitzer at Cincinnati-Playhouse-in the-Park (Spring 2003), which included a startlingly innovative use of live and recorded video in a theatrical context and received several awards for new plays and production. He also directed a somewhat controversial production of HENRY V starring Liev Schreiber, for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, Summer 2003.
In early 2004 he directed KING LEAR for Playmaker’s Rep in Chapel Hill North Carolina in 2 versions, but with the same cast: a heavily cut minimalist 1 hour 45 minute one, based on the Kosintzev film, and a version which was virtually the full text of the First Folio, running at 3 and a half hours. Immediately following KING LEAR came SMALL TRAGEDY, a new play by Craig Lucas concerned with OEDIPUS, Bosnia and the US, - for Playwrights Horizons in New York. This play won an OBIE for best ensemble, a speciality of Mr Wing-Davey’s. Whilst in New York he worked on THE CLEAN HOUSE by Sarah Ruhl for the Women’s Project, which subsequently and quite coincidentally won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for best new play by a woman writer. In 2004 he also directed the rock musical BAT BOY for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, which transferred to the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End, the theatrical treatment and, at the encouragement of his daughters, the world première of “DIRTY DANCING – the Classic Story on Stage” for the Royal Theatre in Sydney Australia, This was followed by more characteristic fare: “THE PROVOK’D WIFE for the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge Mass. In 2005 he remounted Dirty Dancing at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne from which sprang an Australia-wide tour and in October of that year directed SAFE IN HELL a new Amy Freed comedy spinning out from Cotton Mather and the Salem witches – for Yale Repertory Theatre. In 2006 he worked with Craig Lucas and Michael Torke on a new, somewhat risqué musical THE LISTENER and opened SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS, a play by Jose Rivera - the screenwriter of the MOTORCYCLE DIARIES - based on the last two days of Che Guevara’s life, for Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Ortiz’s company, LAByrinth at the Public Theater in New York. In December 2006 he workshopped PASSION PLAY at the Lincoln Center in New York. The 2007/8 season held: 1:23, a play about Andrea Yates and Susan Smith – women who killed their children, by Carson Kreitzer for the Cincinnati Playhouse, Euripides’ HEKABE in a translation by Anne Carson, with the British American Drama Academy which is slated to become a fully fledged music theatre piece with the British Composer Orlando Gough and his choir The Shout, Passion Play (with a revised Part 3) by Sarah Ruhl which opened the Goodman Theater in Chicago’s 2007 season and UNCONDITIONAL by Brett C Leonard for LAByrinth at the Public. In 2008/9 He opens Yale Rep’s season with a re-visited PASSION PLAY and takes up his position as Chair of NYU Tisch’s Graduate Acting Program.
Amongst numerous roles on TV and the stage from Shakespeare to sci fi, from the National Theatre to the Joint Stock Theatre Group, Mark played the eccentric yet sexy Zaphod Beeblebrox in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (BBC radio and television); and made a somewhat marginal appearance on Absolutely Fabulous as Edina’s accountant; he appeared with Steve Buscemi in the film The Grey Zone, made by Tim Blake Nelson, one of the original NYC Mad Forest alumni. He has recently voiced Fangio, the changeable bartender in Robert Rankin’s Brightonomicon, Mike Clode the theatre/movie director in Frederic Raphael’s radio sequel to his original Glittering Prizes - Fame and Fortune, and the villain Ghis for the computer game Final Fantasy XII.
He holds an MA from Cambridge University – where he read English at Gonville and Caius College and was state educated in the UK at Primrose Hill Primary School, and Woolverstone Hall School.