michael mack poet, playwright, performer

NEXT SHOW: May 3, 2014
Virginia Theological Seminary

On Saturday, May 3rd at 7:30pm, Michael Mack will perform Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in Alexandria, Virginia. VTS is the largest accredited Episcopal seminary in the world.



Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester at the Boston Playwrights Theatre at Boston University

double-click image for hi-res | credit: timothy hanson

mack performs in distinguished series
FSU hosts "conversations"

On September 18th, Michael Mack performed Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at Framingham State University as part of the President’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Learn more...

mack wins MCC grant

The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has awarded Michael Mack an MCC Fellowship in Dramatic Writing for his solo play Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith. Mack is one of only four Massachusetts playwrights to receive the 2013 fellowship – the state's most prestigious and competitive arts award – "for creating work of exceptional quality."

mack nominated for IRNE award

Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith was nominated in 2012 for "Best Solo Performance" by the Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE). The award recognizes "the extraordinary wealth of talent in Boston theater.”

"conversations" at paulist center

Michael Mack reprised his autobiographical solo show Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at Boston's Paulist Center, a Catholic Church community. Called "spellbinding" by the Cambridge Chronicle, the play ran in January and February. Press Release A post-show talkback after each performance featured Mack and Fr. Rick Walsh of the Paulist Fathers – an order of Roman Catholic priests – welcoming into a "conversation" all those impacted by clergy abuse. Flyer

artist statement on "conversations"

Crimes against children are deeply troubling, and justice must be served against those who offend. But is justice truly served if long after the crime – and even the punishment – victims remain damaged? True justice brings relief, not only to victims, but to everyone. As such, it must include some measure of reconciliation. The two are not mutually exclusive.

What is the cost of forgiveness? The play Conversations with My Molester, and the audience conversations that follow each performance, explore the nature of reconciliation – its meaning and its place – in a justice of healing.

conversations with my molester:
a journey of faith

Like many Catholic boys in the 1960s, Michael Mack wanted to be a priest. That dream ended at age 11 when his pastor first invited him to the rectory.

In the decades that followed, Mack wrestled with disturbing questions about sexuality and spirituality, and imagined one day meeting his abuser for a conversation. In 2008 he had that chance, and landed on his former pastor's doorstep.

Mack's solo play Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith chronicles the events that took him full circle away from – and back to – the Catholic Church.

Directed by Daniel Gidron, Mack's lyric monologue premiered at the 10-year anniversary of Boston's clergy sexual abuse crisis.

The New York Times profiles mack
full-page feature headlines national news

On January 11, reporter Katharine Seelye from The New York Times flew up from NYC to watch Michael Mack perform Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at the Catholic Paulist Center of Boston.

Running over 4 weekends, the production was a joint project between Mack and the Paulist community, whose mission is reconciliation and social justice.

The article appeared on the front page of the National news section on January 14. Read  Article...

press links

CBS NEWS RADIO (WBZ) interview on "The Jordan Rich Show" — April 4, 2014

THE PILOT interview & commentary — March 28, 2014

NPR WGBH feature on "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" — Feb 25, 2013

THE NEW YORK TIMES Feature, FRONT PAGE, National News — Jan 14, 2013

CAMBRIDGE CHRONICLE Review / Column — Apr 8, 2012

THE PILOT Feature — Apr 6, 2012

BOSTON GLOBE Feature — Mar 28, 2012


EDGE Review — Jan 16, 2012

BOSTON HERALD Feature — Jan 11, 2012

NPR Radio Boston Interview — Jan 11, 2012

BOSTON METRO Feature, FRONT PAGE— Jan 4, 2012


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hearing voices
speaking in tongues

Michael Mack's disarming one-man play about his mother's mental illness

Poet and performer Michael Mack

A lyric portrait of his mother's life with schizophrenia – and her recovery – Mack's solo show Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues shares an intimate look at madness, love, and redemption. Boston Globe preview.

featured poems

Becoming Annie. "Becoming Annie, who wakes in a wrinkled cotton nightie, watches a luminous hand touch her ticking wrist....

More poems below....

Poet and performer Michael Mack

Spartacus Speaks. "I see much from this height. Grape leaves wave like nailed palms, and my toes are sprouting flies...."

Confession. "I loved the suspense – Saturdays, waiting on pews with ancient hunch-backed women whispering into their fists...."

Our Lady of Sorrows. "Why my mother chopped off her hair, why she followed me to the school bus stop that morning in second grade...."

More poems....

"hearing voices" at yale university

Michael Mack interviewed on  ABC TV

In partnership with Fellowship Place of New Haven, Michael Mack brings his acclaimed one-man show Hearing Voices, Speaking in Tongues to the Yale University Whitney Auditorium, New Haven, CT.

Post-play Q&A features faculty from the Yale School of Medicine and School of Drama joining Mack for an audience discussion about mental illness, mental health and the arts.


National Public Radio


Minneapolis Star Tribune


Boston Sunday Globe


Washington Post








"The universe is made of stories, not atoms."

Muriel Rukeyser

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"The past is never dead.
It's not even past."

William Faulkner

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"The poem is the point at which our strength gives out."

Richard Rosen

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"There are more things in heaven and earth...
than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

William Shakespeare

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Full list of Michael Mack's performances.

    recent news    

mr. mack goes to washington

helps push for better mental health care

Michael Mack and other NAMI members before entering Senator John Kerry's office

Performing in DC at the national headquarters for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and at the national conference of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mack joins other NAMI members to visit the offices of Senator John Kerry and Senator Scott Brown to press for better mental health care legislation.

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"hearing voices"
sounds in boston

performance series raises mental health awareness

Massachusetts State House

Mack partners with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI, of Cambridge/Middlesex, Saint Paul Catholic Church, the Grolier Poetry Bookshop, and many other organizations to raise awareness about mental illness – especially as mental health programs face legislative budget cuts. 

See press release and feature in Somerville News

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mack performs new work
at foxwoods resort

MGM Foxwoods Resort and Casino

Michael Mack presents a staged reading of his new performance work Conversations with My Molester at the MGM Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT at the 2nd annual Healing the Generations conference.

Co-sponsored by New Haven's Clifford Beers Clinic and the Mashantucket Tribal Nation, Mack debuts his solo show as part of Healing the Generations – The 2nd Annual Family Violence and Trauma Conference. Learn more.