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Bio & Agent Contact

AGENT: Alec Shane



Mark Stein (born May 18, 1951) grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he attended Montgomery Blair High School.  After graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, he worked as an editorial assistant to Vogue magazine feature editor, Leo Lerman.


In 1976, Stein became a playwright-in-residence at New Playwrights Theater in Washington, DC.  His play Groves of Academe won the 1982 Heideman Award at Actors Theater of Louisville and went on to an off-Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club.  Subsequent play premieres have included At Long Last Leo (South Coast Repertory, 1988); Ghost Dance (River Stage, 1997); Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys (River Stage, 2000; Joseph Jefferson Award, Raven Theater's Chicago production, 2015) and Mating Dance of the Werewolf (co-produced by Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Rubicon Theater, 2005).


Stein also wrote the screenplay for Housesitter (1992), starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, along with an episode of Nero Wolfe (A&E network) and  television movies for CBS and NBC. 


His book, How the States Got Their Shapes (2008) was a New York Times Best Seller and became the basis for a History Channel series by the same name, hosted by Brian Unger.


Stein's poetic and hybrid works have appeared in Moment, Michigan Quarterly, Nimrod, Exposition Review, Eclectica, Burningword Journal and Wraparound South.


He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Arlene Balkansky, a reference specialist at the Library of Congress. They have two grown sons, Harry and David.