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Show will go on as 'Fences' director heals

| Friday, May 15, 2015, 6:35 p.m.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Mark Clayton Southers, founder and producing artistic director at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, as well as the former director of theater initiatives at the August Wilson Center, announced Sept. 23 that he's part of the group creating The Phoenix: a Theatre Company, located in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Mark Clayton Southers, founder of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, is expected to make a full recovery after being injured in a car accident May 11 on Washington Boulevard near Negley Run Boulevard in the Highland Park area while driving with his wife, Neicy Southers, says Eric A. Smith, a former managing director of the company.

Smith also is production manager for Pittsburgh Playwrights' production of “Fences” by August Wilson, which is being performed through May 30. Southers was directing the show, which will go on as planned. Shows for this weekend are sold out.

Southers' daughter is an assistant stage manager for the production and has been bombarded with questions.

“With shows like this one, once the show goes up, Mark's work is pretty much done,” Smith says. “Plus, there are a lot of other people involved in the show that they have all been taking over duties which need to be done.”

A date for Southers' return has not been determined, but because it's the end of the season, he will have ample time to heal, Smith says.

Southers is in the trauma unit at UPMC Presbyterian and not having visitors at this time. Smith asks that the family been given time and space to care for Southers. Southers' wife suffered minor bruises.

“Mark, being the artistic director, is the face of the production and people are used to seeing him,” Smith says. “He is the most common face in the theater. So, he is missed when he isn't here.”

Details: 412-377-7803 or

— JoAnne Klimovich Harrop

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