Mary Poindexter McLaughlin photo website playwright poet essayist

Why do I write? In a nutshell...

I write to make sense of the world, to challenge my conception of reality, and to find humor in it all. 

I write to heal. I write to connect.

I write to entertain, educate, and enlighten -- myself and others.

About the work


I started out in playwriting, but now I can't seem to stay within the lines. I let function dictate form: play, poem, essay. What needs to be said, and how?  


My work often, but not exclusively, attempts to unearth truths from the female perspective. The world needs to hear more from the "other half."



Mary Poindexter McLaughlin holds a BA in English from Stanford University, where she was the recipient of Stanford’s Golden Grant Award for playwriting, and an MA in Theatre & Performance Studies from the University at Buffalo. Her plays have been performed in NYC, Buffalo, NY, CT, CO, and PA, where she was the Donna Award Runner-Up for Outstanding Playwright at the 2017 Pittsburgh New Works Festival (Doing Time). Most recently, her play The Buddha’s Wife took first prize in the 2019 Henley Rose Playwright Competition and was named a Finalist in The Landing Theatre’s 2020 New American Voices Festival. Her poems have been published in Stanford Magazine and in Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global online magazine, and she is currently at work on a musical (Answer Key) and a full-length Shakespeare-based feminist drama. A former actor in NYC, she also directs and teaches theatre arts in Buffalo, NY. Member: Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, Statera Arts. Website: