Dr. Mark A. Ferguson
Chair and Professor | Director of the Wofford Theatre
B.A., Wofford College
M.A., Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Mark Ferguson came to Wofford in the fall of 2003, with the institutional mandate to transform a venerable and storied extracurricular program, the Wofford Theatre Workshop founded by Dr. James R. Gross in 1970, into an artistically and intellectually rigorous degree granting program, the Department of Theatre, and producing organization, the Wofford Theatre.
Before coming to Wofford, Mark taught drama, American literature, translation, and composition at the Universität Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany, as well as founding the English-speaking University of Stuttgart Theater Project. Recently (2012) he returned to Germany with his family on a sabbatical during which he lectured and taught various Dramatic Literature and Playwriting courses at the Universities of Freiburg, Stuttgart and Zurich.
Mark is a proud alumnus of Wofford College (German and Humanities, ’94, magna cum laude) and holds the MA in Dramatic Literature and the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, where he also taught in the departments of English and Performing Arts. Other jobs included work in the arts, academia, advertising and financial services (Chicago and St. Louis), as well as a stint as a welder. Dissertation: “Landscape, Politics, and Alienation in the work of Heiner Müller and Richard Foreman.”
Thesis production: Hamletmachine.
Mark has done most theatrical jobs at one time or another but spends most of his time now in the rehearsal hall as a director, or in the classroom teaching the Introduction to Theatre class, as well as upper division dramatic literature courses: Greek and Roman, African American, Contemporary, Modern, Dramatic Theory, and 19th century, as well as the freshman seminar Humanities 101 and Introduction to Theatre.
“Theatre as a discipline is one of the most important tools in our critical arsenal. Much like the study of philosophy, psychology, religion, and history, the serious study of theatre can be enormously powerful as we attempt to understand the puzzles of our own culture and the nature and purpose of human existence.”
Some of his favorite directing projects at Wofford include The Visit, Into the Woods, Criminal Genius, Much Ado About Nothing, Red Roses, Metamorphoses, and The Clean House.
“Apart from the fun in the rehearsal hall and the development of a rapport with the cast and crew, the greatest pleasures available to me as a director are during performances when I am able to witness the enormous amount of work done by committed designers, technicians, support staff and actors come together to create a beautiful, elegant, hilarious, heartbreaking, or revelatory moment. It is a privilege and a rare gift to get to be a part of something like that.”
“My favorite thing about working at Wofford is the opportunity to spend every day with extremely bright, talented, and motivated students as they discover the courage, discipline, and tenacity to become amazing artists and scholars, and discover their own distinctive artistic voices.”
Mark is married to Kerry Mulvaney Ferguson, an actor, director, playwright, poet and adjunct professor at Wofford. They have three crazy children.