Mary grew up in Vermont and still carries the love of nature, resilience, kindness, curiosity, and sense of whimsey that living in those mountains imprinted on her heart. She left Vermont to get her BA at Sarah Lawrence College, then moved to New York City where she was a professional actor for nearly a decade. Mary has appeared in numerous film, television, stage, radio, and opera productions in New York City and throughout the United States. Some representative roles include the receptionist opposite Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie, Naomi in Simon with Alan Arkin, Abbey in The Impossible Years with Ted Knight, Popham in The Magistrate with John Cullum, the original Mona off-Broadway in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, with Fannie Flagg, and creating the role of Mandy in the musical I Can’t Keep Running in Place, which ran for a year off-Broadway at Westside Theatre. While in New York, Mary co-founded “Life Adventures Onstage” to reach at-risk inner-city children and young students with disabilities by creating original scripts from the children’s real-life stories and producing weekly mini plays for invited audiences. One of the most successful sessions was conducted for children with hearing impairment and deafness. She also worked as a freelance writer, creating marketing and promotional materials for clients that included Recordings for the Blind, Project Hope, New York Public Library, Central Park Conservancy, Fresh Air Fund, and Pete Seeger’s “Clearwater.”
After moving to Tennessee, Mary was enlisted by Webb School of Knoxville in 2005 to create a year-long curriculum for its Lower School’s immersive program, “Webb’s Window on the World.” This culminated in a special performance of an abbreviated version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in which all 264 children in grades K-5 were cast to play ocean waves, sailors, the storm, a chorus, all the sound effects, and Ferdinand, Miranda, Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban (along with various narrators and lesser characters). Students were involved in all the scenery, props, sound effects, and costume creation, as well as performing the duties of stage managing, cuing actors, and moving set pieces. This ambitious idea worked beautifully with older students mentoring younger ones and creating magic for 30 priceless minutes.
In recent years Mary has been focusing on writing plays. Her comedy-drama Shanktown enjoyed a successful world premiere July 8–24, 2022, at the Playhouse on the Square in Memphis. Another world premiere, Party of Twelve, played to sold-out houses at the Washington Theater in Murfreesboro, TN, April 8-10, 2022. And a third World Premiere, To Know You debuted at the Clayton Center for the Arts in Maryville, TN, November 1-2, 2019. She wrote the screenplay for Nashville Rep’s 2020 online holiday show ‘Twas the Night and continues to work on new projects with theatre artists from all over the country via Zoom. Her plays have been recognized by the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (semi-finalist), American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries contest (semi-finalist), and the Kentucky Women Writers’ Conference (finalist). Frequently produced in Nashville, Mary’s plays have been seen at the Darkhorse Theater, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, and the Cordelle Event Space.
Mary’s short play “Mirror Me” was published in the Ponder Review of fall 2020, and her monologue for Kamaya in Shanktown was selected for inclusion in Smith and Kraus’ Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2023.