Timothy Mason (playwright)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Timothy Mason
Tim Mason, playwright.jpg
Born(1950-02-14)February 14, 1950
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
NationalityUnited States

Timothy Peter Mason (born February 14, 1950) is an American playwright. He has written a number of plays including the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!’’[1]


Timothy Mason was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. As a young child, he moved with his family to Minneapolis. He is the son of Reverend John Martin Mason II (1908 - 2003), who was an author, a minister, and who traveled the country as an advocate for the elderly. Timothy Mason’s mother was Mertrice Rosalys (Herfindahl) Mason. While in high school Timothy Mason performed in a number of plays at the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. He earned a degree at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota; and he also studied in Oxford, England, in 1971. While in college he wrote plays for the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, including Robin Hood a Story of the Forest and Kidnapped in London, which won the 1972 National Society of Arts and Letters Award.[2][3]


Circle Repertory Company produced his plays Levitation, Only You, Babylon Gardens (starring Timothy Hutton and Mary-Louise Parker), and The Fiery Furnace (starring Julie Harris). His plays have also been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, the Jungle Theatre of Minneapolis, the Old Globe, the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, the Guthrie Theater Lab, in Minneapolis, Pioneer Memorial Theatre in Salt Lake City, and the Royal National Theatre, London.[4][5][6][7]

He has been a resident playwright The Children’s Theatre Company, Minneapolis, a company playwright at Circle Repertory Company in New York City and guest playwriting instructor at state universities in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Utah, Florida, and Arizona; as well as at New York University, and The New School in New York City. Mason created a 5-play "Young Americans Cycle" in collaboration with San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory (Ascension Day, The Less than Human Club, Time on Fire, Mullen’s Alley, and My Life in the Silents.)[8][9]

His published works include many of his plays, and also Timothy Mason: Ten Plays for Children From the Repertory of the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, which features theatrical adaptations of classic works of children's literature;[10] and the novel, The Last Synapsid.[11]

His play Bearclaw was commissioned by the Actors Theatre of Louisville, it then premiered in 1984 at the White Barn Theatre in Westport Connecticut. It was produced by Circle Repertory Company and Lucille Lortell. It was staged the following year by the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and it was then published in 1989 in The Best Short Plays of 1988-1989.

Mason has won a Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award, the W. Alton Jones Foundation Award, the Hollywood DramaLogue Award, the Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Berilla Kerr Playwrights Award, and the National Society of Arts and Letters Award.[12]


  • In a Northern Landscape
  • Levitation
  • Bearclaw
  • Only You
  • Babylon Gardens
  • The Fiery Furnace
  • Before I Got My Eye Put Out
  • Ascension Day
  • The Less Than Human Club
  • Time on Fire
  • Mullen's Alley
  • My Life in the Silents
  • The Life to Come
  • Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The Musical

" Sorry"


  1. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "What’s Big and Green and Red All Over?" The New York Times. November 9, 2006.
  2. ^ Donahue, John Clark. Jenkins, Linda Walsh. editors. Five Plays from the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. U of Minnesota Press (1975) ISBN 9780816657483. page 4.
  3. ^ "Obit: Reverend John Martin Mason II". St. Paul Pioneer Press. January 30, 2003
  4. ^ [1] Lincoln, Ivan M. "The Less than Human Club: Play Looks at Eight Students and How they Wrestle with Issues of Identity and Love". Deseret News. October 20, 1996
  5. ^ Rich, Frank. "Review/Theater: The Fiery Furnace; Sturdy Midwestern Women Making Compromises With Life". New York Times. October 6, 1993
  6. ^ Rich, Frank. "Review/Theater; A Play, Its City and Its Setting". New York Times. October 9, 1991
  7. ^ Simon, John. "Theater; Only You". New York Magazine. March 19, 1984.
  8. ^ [2] "CSU’s Voices To Showcase Student Writing". The Oklahoman. November 25, 1988
  9. ^ [3] Isenberg, Barbara. "The Shaping Of A Concept Into A Play". Los Angeles Times. October 20, 1985.
  10. ^ Mason, Timothy. Timothy Mason: Ten Plays for Children : From the Repertory of the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Smith & Kraus Pub Inc (November 1997). ISBN 978-1575251202
  11. ^ Mason, Timothy. The Last Synapsid. Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 10, 2009). ISBN 978-0385735810
  12. ^ Delgado, Ramon. The Best Short Plays, 1988-1989. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1989. ISBN 9781557831873. page 25.