michael mack poet, playwright, performer

Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith

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

Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith

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

Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith

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

Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith

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

Michael Mack performing Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith

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

best script award

After a theatrical run in NYC's Midtown International Theatre Festival, Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith won the festival's best script award – Outstanding Script for a Full Length Play – a remarkable achievement for a one-person play; also nominated Outstanding Solo Show.

NYC AUDIENCE TALKBACK. During the NYC run, Michael Mack joined Father Gil Martinez at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, NYC's 2nd-largest Catholic Church (only St. Patrick's Cathedral is larger). They discussed issues raised by the play, focusing on the process of healing. Free and open to the public.  Talkback Info

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...

performance at leading seminary
VTS hosts "conversations"

Michael Mack performed Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at Virginia Theological Seminary, the largest accredited Episcopal Seminary in the world. WASHINGTON POST Feature Article..

IRNE award nomination

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 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 to help make "a costume."

In the decades that followed, Mack wrestled with haunting questions about sexuality and spirituality, and imagined one day meeting his abuser for a conversation. Forty years later 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 Roman Catholic Church.

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

"conversations" press links


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

WASHINGTON POST Feature, FRONT PAGE of Metro section — May 3, 2014

AMERICA MAGAZINE Feature, the national Catholic review — Sep 17, 2015

NEW YORK THEATRE GUIDE Review — Sep 28, 2015

BOSTON GLOBE Feature — Mar 28, 2012


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


THE PILOT Feature, America's oldest Catholic newspaper — Apr 6, 2012

THE PILOT Interview & commentary, America's oldest Catholic newspaper — March 28, 2014

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

CAMBRIDGE CHRONICLE Review / Column — Apr 8, 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

artist statement on "conversations"

Crimes against children are profoundly troubling, and justice must be served against those who offend. But is justice fully 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 a 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 the performances, explore the nature of reconciliation – its meaning and its place – in a justice of healing.

"conversations" 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."

feature in The New York Times
full-page profile headlines national news

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. NEW YORK TIMES Feature Article

"conversations" at paulist center

Michael Mack presented his autobiographical solo play Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith at Boston's Paulist Center, a Catholic Church community. Press Release Called "spellbinding" by the Cambridge Chronicle, the shows featured a talkback after each performance that included 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.

saint anthony shrine

100 Arch Street
Downtown Crossing
Boston, MA 02110

Saint Anthony Shrine, Boston

St. Anthony Shrine

This busy Franciscan ministry offers Mass and confessions all day, every day – along with dozens of outreach ministries to the poor, afflicted, and hurting.

Easy access via MBTA.... take Red Line or Orange Line subway to Downtown Crossing stop.

Michael Mack's
Conversations with My Molester:
A Journey of Faith

at St. Anthony Shrine in downtown Boston
for four (4) shows during Lent:

FRI    Mar 10,  6:00pm
SUN  Mar 12,  1:45pm
SUN  Mar 19,  1:45pm
SAT   Mar 25,  7:00pm

Open to the Public

Michael Mack's solo show recounts his boyhood dream of becoming a priest being thwarted by clergy abuse, and his subsequent 40-year search for healing away from – and back to – the Roman Catholic Church.


Mack's prize-winning work has been praised by secular and religious sources alike for its nuanced chronicle of betrayal, grace, and healing.


Each performance followed by an audience Q&A, with Mack joined by priests and mental health advocates focused on healing as a process – both for individuals and the larger community.

Michael Mack and cast during dress rehearsal in Come as You Are

Michael Mack and cast members at dress rehearsal of
Come as You Are

notes from the field

a few recent events

Charles Wood Theater (Apr 8). Mack performs his work "By Heart" about his mother's recovery from schizophrenia in the ensemble production Come as You Are, an evening of personal testimonies to the reality of recovery, Glens Falls, NY   INFO

Harvard Medical School (May 6). Mack performs his piece "Glass Houses" about the inner life of schizophrenia after winning a commendation from the Hippocrates Initiative for Poetry and Medicine. Selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jorie Graham, Boston, MA

Pine Grove Cemetery (May 20). Honoring the 500+ Westborough State Hospital patients buried in unmarked graves, Mack performs "By Heart" at the groundbreaking for a memorial dedicated to their memory, Westborough, MA   INFO

NAMI National Conference (Jun 29). Mack presents "By Heart" as part of panel discussion Caring for the Spirit – The Role of the Arts, Faith, and Community in Recovery for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Washington, DC   INFO

Complete calendar...



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








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

William Faulkner








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

Richard Rosen









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

William Shakespeare


Full list of Michael Mack's performances.

⇓    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"
resounds 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.