Marcus Gardley is a multiple award-winning poet-playwright who recently won the prestigious 2008 Helen Merrill Award and a Kesselring honor. His most recent play And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi was produced at the Cutting Ball Theater and received both critical acclaim and two sold-out extensions. His Bay Area plays This World in a Woman's Hands (October 2009) and Love is a Dream House in Lorin (March 2007) have been hailed as the best in Bay Area theater. The latter was nominated for the National Critics Steinberg New Play Award. He has had six plays produced including: dance of the holy ghost at Yale Repertory Theatre (now under a commercial Broadway option), (L)imitations of Life at the Empty Space, and like sun fallin' in the mouth at the National Black Theatre Festival. He is the recipient of the San Francisco Bay Area's Gerbode Emerging Playwright Award, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Award, the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Scholarship, and the ASCAP Cole Porter Prize. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale Drama School and is a member of New Dramatists, The Dramatists Guild and the Lark Play Development Center. Mr. Gardley, a native of West Oakland, was recently chosen as one of 50 writers to watch by the Dramatists Magazine. His play On the Levee recently premiered at Lincoln Center and his other new work, Every Tongue Confess, will open Arena Stage's new theater, directed by Kenny Leon. Mr. Gardley teaches Playwriting and African-American studies at UMass.