Mark Hairston

Assistant Professor

Hairston, Mark

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A native of Washington, DC, Mark H. is a director, performer, and educator with a primary focus on American theater and theater of the African diaspora. He approaches theater as an art form, as well as an ancient technology for sight, communication, development, and healing. The theater that most excites him is classical, post-dramatic, physical, site-specific and immersive, sustainable and resource conscious, and aimed at community development. His directing highlights include Julius Caesar, The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom, King Lear, The Cherry Orchard, The Henry Dumas Project, and Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea. Along with directing, Mark has worked extensively as a professional actor with some of the nation’s leading theater companies. He received his BFA in Acting with high honors from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University School of the Arts, where he was the Dean’s Fellow and studied under the mentorship of Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick. He received his classical theater training at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.


  • MFA Directing, Columbia University, 2018
  • BFA Acting, Rutgers University, 2005

Select Creative Works

  • Hairston, Mark Steven., & Jones, Bill T., "Deep Blue Sea/What Problem?," Park Avenue Armory, NYC. (2021).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Assistant Director), & Landau, Tina (Director), "Ms. Blakk for President," Steppenwolf Theatre Co, (May 1, 2019).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Director), & Brown, William Wells., "The Escape," Lenfest Center for the Arts, NYC. (February 1, 2018).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Director), & Shakespeare, William, "King Lear," Columbia University, NYC. (April 1, 2017).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Director), & Smith, Anna Deavere., "Fires in the Mirror," Howard University, DC. (March 1, 2015).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Director), & Davis, Nathan Alan., "Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea," Source Theatre, DC. (June 1, 2014).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Performer), & Khan, Ricardo (Director), "Fly," Ford's Theatre, (September 1, 2012).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Performer), & Nelson, Jennifer (Director), "The Whipping Man," Theater J, (May 1, 2012).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Performer), & McSweeny, Ethan (Director), "Much Ado About Nothing," Shakespeare Theatre, DC. (November 1, 2011).
  • Hairston, Mark Steven. (Performer), & Seiden, Serge (Director), "In the Red and Brown Water," Studio Theatre, DC. (February 1, 2010).