Marc P. Smith
Playwright/film writer/producer and director, Marc P. Smith died on March 23, 2011 at the age of 77. Marc co-founded with his wife, Susan, the award-winning Worcester (MA) Foothills Theatre Company in 1974 and served at the helm of this Equity regional theatre company for 25 years until his retirement from Foothills in 1999. As Executive Producer/Artistic Director, Marc produced over 150 plays, from world premieres to classic works, to contemporary drama, comedy and mini-musicals, each running for an average of 30 performances. In 1999, in what Marc referred to as Act III of his life, he and Susan co-founded Blue Pumpkin Productions which gave Marc the liberty to pursue a variety of creative projects for stage and other entertainment media. Over three and a half decades, Marc has had close to two dozen of his plays professionally produced in New York, Los Angeles, Waterford, CT (the O’Neill Theater Center), Boston, Lenox, and Worcester, Massachusetts and more recently, in several cities in Germany and in Poland.
In the late 1950s, during his U.S. Army service, Marc served as chief writer of the American Forces Korea Network, developing radio and television programs that presented Korean history and customs. Later, living in New York City, he was post-production liaison and then film audition liaison for CBS Films, Inc. and was NY coordinator for the first 3 years of the O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights’ Conference which he co-founded. He taught courses and/or guest-lectured in film and theatre at Clark University (his alma mater), College of the Holy Cross, Assumption, Bennington, Nichols Colleges, Worcester State University, and for various organizations and associations.
From 2002 until 2011, he was engaged in a creative project centering on resistance to the Nazis, and reconciliation between Germans, Jews, and Poles. As a cornerstone of this endeavor, he wrote two plays. One, A Journey to Kreisau, focuses on a remarkable couple at the center of German resistance: Helmuth James and Freya von Moltke. The other, Karski, tells the little known story of a Polish hero of the resistance, Jan Karski, often referred to as the man who tried to stop the Holocaust. This work took Marc to Boston and New York City as well as Hamburg and Berlin, Germany, and Wroclaw, Kracow, Lodz, and Kreisau/Krzyzowa, Poland.
Susan L. Smith
Co-founder of both Blue Pumpkin Productions (1999) and Worcester Foothills Theatre (1974), Susan, as Associate Producer, had responsibility for all communications and marketing efforts for both organizations. At Foothills, she also served as access coordinator, working to assure access to the theatre’s facilities and programs for people with disabilities. During the past decade, Susan has also been involved in all public relations and marketing efforts for Blue Pumpkin Productions, for The Kreisau Project and for Marc’s two plays, “A Journey to Kreisau” and “Karski,” traveling with him to Germany and Poland for presentations of those plays.
She has guest lectured at Assumption College and, since 2002, has been an adjunct faculty member of Clark University’s COPACE division (now known as the School of Professional Studies). From 2005-2015 she served as Internship Coordinator for students in the Master’s degree programs in Professional Communication, Public Administration, and Information Technology. She is now academic supervisor for a specialized internship course for students with career interests in audience development and event planning.
In the mid-1980s Susan was special projects coordinator for Mechanics Hall in Worcester where she developed, marketed and implemented a new speakers series, “In Celebrated Company”. Over two years, speakers included: N.Y. Gov. Mario Cuomo, Sen. William Proxmire, writers Dith Pran and Nora Ephron, and 60 Minutes’ Ed Bradley. She presently offers consulting services in audience development for performing arts organizations and individual artists.