|Born||New York City, New York, US|
|Occupation||Actress, writer, teacher, producer/director|
Mari Gorman is an American actress perhaps best known for her work in television, particularly as one of the informal repertory company of the 1970s and 1980s sitcom Barney Miller, on which she made numerous appearances, but she is also known for her theatre acting. She has won several acting awards, including two Obie Awards. She is the founder of the New York City theatre company Glass Beads Theatre Ensemble, and the author of Strokes of Existence: The Connection of All Things, which conveys the results of a long-term, formal investigation of acting. Among other things, the results validate Shakespeare's famous words that "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players." (As You Like It, Act II, Sc. VII).
Mari Gorman (Mari Louise Craven Gorman) had her first professional role in Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen, directed by Jack Gelber, with Rip Torn. She has won Obie Awards for three acting performances: in Walking to Waldheim, by Mayo Simon, directed by George L. Sherman at Lincoln Center; The Memorandum, by Vaclev Havel, directed by Joseph Papp at The Public Theatre; and The Hot L Baltimore, by Lanford Wilson, directed by Marshall W. Mason at The Circle In-the-Square (with Circle Repertory Company), for which she also received the Theatre World Award, Drama Desk Award and Clarence Derwent Award. Other highlights include the lead role of The Girl in The Red Convertible, by Enrique Buenaventura, in the premiere production of The Third Stage (Tom Patterson Theatre) at Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Ontario; the role of Pam in the American premiere of Saved by Edward Bond, with the Yale Repertory Theatre; and the role of Kathy in the world premiere of Moonchildren (originally titled Cancer) by Michael Weller at The Royal Court Theatre in London. She has acted in numerous television series and has taught acting on both coasts, in her own studios as well as at Loyola University in Los Angeles, and as a Lecturer-in-Acting as a repertory company member at the Yale Drama School. She has directed several productions in New York and L.A., where she won a Drama-Logue Award for her direction of Vanities, by Jack Heifner. In 1974, after Hot L, she began a formal investigation of acting which has led to discoveries that pertain to numerous disciplines in addition to acting. In 2007 she published Strokes of Existence: The Connection of All Things, about this work, which continues.
One of her first major screen roles was as murder victim and mob pawn Taffy Simms on the television soap opera The Edge of Night in the 1970s. She was a cast member of the Barbara Eden sitcom Harper Valley PTA, playing PTA member, Vivian Washburn, and was one of the informal repertory company of the 1970s and 1980s sitcom Barney Miller, on which she made numerous appearances, including as an amateur prostitute housewife (in Series 4 Episode 3, "Bugs") and as a police detective with a jealous husband (in Series 4, Episode 18, "Wojo's Problem" and other episodes). She has had numerous recurring or guest starring roles in many other television shows, and her film career has included appearances in Goodbye, Columbus (1969), The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), Curse of the Black Widow (1977), 10 (1979), Oh, God! Book II (1980), Max Dugan Returns (1983), Choices of the Heart (1983) and Kids Don't Tell (1985).
She has produced and directed theatre in New York and Los Angeles, and teaches acting. Among other productions, in 1981 in Los Angeles and 2003 in New York, she produced and directed Cries for Peace, composed of firsthand accounts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors performed by multi-ethnic casts. In 2010 she founded the New York City theater company, Glass Beads Theatre Ensemble, and produced and directed playwright Michael Locascio's Lily of the Conservative Ladies, at the June Havoc Theatre; and produced, directed and, with Danna Call and Craig Pospisil, co-wrote Browsing, performed as part of the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival. Lab work and research continues; and she is currently pursuing a master's degree in Modernity.
Strokes of Existence: The Connection of All Things (2007)
- 1967–68 season Obie Award for Distinguished Performances in Walking to Waldheim[a] and The Memorandum.[b]
- 1972–73 season Obie Award for Distinguished Performance for The Hot l Baltimore [c]
- 1972–73 Theatre World Award The Hot l Baltimore
- 1972–73 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance The Hot l Baltimore
- 1973 Clarence Derwent Award The Hot l Baltimore
- Drama-Logue Award, director, Vanities.[d]
- Walking to Waldheim: by Mayo Simon, directed by George L. Sherman at Lincoln Center, New York, NY
- The Memorandum: by Václav Havel, directed by Joseph Papp at The Public Theater, New York, NY
- The Hot l Baltimore: by Lanford Wilson, directed by Marshall W. Mason at the Circle in the Square Theatre, Circle Repertory Company, New York, NY
- Vanities: By Jack Heifner, Pilot II Theater, Los Angeles, California
- Violanti, Heather J. (February 3, 2011). "Lily of the Conservative Ladies". (review) NYTheatre.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.
- "Company". Glass Beads Theatre Ensemble. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.
- "Al Pacino, Sam Shepard, Roy Scheider, Estelle Parsons – It's Obies 1968!". Reprint of "23 Win '68 'Obies'". Village Voice. May 30, 1968. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.
- "Christopher Lloyd! Stacy Keach! Jessica Tandy! It's the 1973 Obies!!". Reprint of Berman, Audrey. "The '73 'Obies': Plays were the thing'". Village Voice. May 24, 1973. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012.
- "Theatre World Award Recipients". Theatre World Awards (official site). Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Google cache of "1972–1973 19th Drama Desk Awards", formerly listed at Drama Desk official site.
- "The Clarence Derwent Award 2010". Actors' Equity Association. Archived from the original on April 22, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- "Vanities". GailEdwards.com. n.d.