The Ninety-Nine Chronicles

On May 11, 2015, Mark Clayton Southers was seriously injured in a car accident. Over the next year he wrote ninety-nine essays documenting his recovery. Read Mark’s original introduction to the Ninety-Nine Chronicles below.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that has theatres closed nationwide, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company has established an Artist Assistance Fund to distribute donations to theatre artists in need. In support of this mission, we have asked ninety-nine actors to each read one of the chronicles, and will post them below. The videos are free, but we ask for your contribution to support actors in need through our Artist Assistance Fund. PPTCO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Donate to PPTCO’s Artist Assistance Fund

Chronicle #61 The Revolving Rooms. Read by Tami Dixon.
Posted February 13 2016 by Mark Clayton Southers.
The second of nine Dark Chronicles: experiences while unconscious immediately after the accident.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #47: I Almost Died. Read by Cyril Wecht.
Posted October 27 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #19: Fear of the Black Man. Read by Ben Cain.
Posted October 1 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #22: L. B. P.. Read by Ray Werner.
Posted August 17 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #69: Magical Hands. Read by Rico Parker.
Posted May 26, 2016 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #34: Faith. Read by Charles Timbers.
Posted August 30, 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #4: Prayer for my Leg. Read by Will Williams.
Posted July 29, 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.


Chronicle #20: Pills, pills, pills! Read by David Conrad.
Posted September 6, 2015 by Mark Clayton Southers.

To comment on this video, please click here to view it on YouTube.

Donate to PPTCO’s Artist Assistance Fund

Original Introduction to the Collected Chronicles, November 2015

Hello and welcome to The Chronicles.

This page holds the collection of my total Chronicles. Let me say this. I’m an artist. This page is dedicated to my journals as I recover and heal from my auto accident. These chronicles listed here include edgy ones which were not posted on Facebook due to their raw and frank nature. As I said earlier, I’m an artist.

That being said, I want to share with folks my honest and frank stories about the reality of recovery, and the things that I witness, from a first-hand account. Some folks may feel uncomfortable reading some of these. But the reason why I’m able to express myself in such an engaging way is because of my bold attempt to be truthful in my recollections.

A few people have voiced to me their disdain about some of these chronicles, some without even reading them thoroughly. Hey, I’m well aware that I’m not going to please everyone, but the truth of the matter is, I’m not out to please anyone. These chronicles have personally been very therapeutic for me.

I should mention however that I’ve also been told from friends and strangers via Facebook replies, in boxed messages, text, emails, phone calls and in person that they have been inspired, uplifted and freed of guilt about expressing themselves. So I invite you to join me as I continue my journey through LIFE.

I must say that some of my chronicles can be considered rated R. But I think that they are tactful in my approach to tell a truthful story.

Thank you for joining me here. Enjoy your read.

Mark Clayton Southers

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Announces Grants to Local Playwrights

[Note on March 23, 2020: Due to the current pandemic, various readings and productions listed below have been postponed. Please check with the individual presenters for details.]

Pittsburgh (February 17, 2020) — The Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company and its Founder and Producing Artistic Director Mark Clayton Southers are proud to announce that they are presenting $10,000 in grants to nine local playwrights to assist them in their current playwriting projects, as well as to support one new production of an existing work.

PPTCO’s performance space is currently being remodeled, and delays in this process have led us to postpone our planned Spring 2020 production, which would have closed our sixteenth season. Instead, PPTCO has decided to offer these grants to encourage and support local playwrights.

After very successful productions of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean and LeLand Gantt’s Rhapsody in Black, Mr. Southers made the decision to move our 2019-2020 season’s third and final play, Dr. Kyle Bostian’s world premiere Pyramid Builders, to open our 2020-2021 season this fall.

Board President Dr. Michael Ramsay said, “It is our hope that these grants to local playwrights help them in honing their scripts through readings and productions.”

These are the nine playwrights who have received $1000 grants:

1. Ty Greenwood, for his play “Death Dream”.

To be performed at Kelly-Strayhorn’s Alloy Studios on April 3rd, 2020. “Jabari has two voices inside his head, Ebony & Ivory. These voices are his conscience, so he says. We journey through various depths of Jabari’s mind as he recounts traumatic experiences in his life.” More info.

2. Kimberly C. Ellis, Ph.D., for her play “AfroRoma: A Love Story”.

Work in progress. “A Pan-African love and travel narrative and romantic, musical comedy about an African-American woman who travels to Europe to explore the African Diaspora and finds both romance and a sisterhood of goddesses.”

3. Lissa Brennan, for part 2 of her “Grist From The Mill” trilogy, “1943”.

Premieres at Carnegie Stage on April 24th and 25th. A storytelling work in which in the steel mills of Southwestern Pennsylvania play a pivotal role, inspired by the murder ballads of Irish folk tradition and informed by regional history. Tickets and info.

4. Sharon Flake, for her play “The Skin I’m In”.

To be performed May 1st-10th 2020 at Alumni Theater Company. Sharon G. Flake adapts her acclaimed first novel “The Skin I’m In”, published in 2000 by Hyperion Books. It depicts the story of seventh-grader Maleeka Madison who has low self-esteem because of her dark skin color. More info.

5. Jamaica Johnson, for her play “Untitled”.

Work in progress. “The endeavor to survive is a constant battle between black youth and society. The everyday life of black teens in America almost seems like a drama itself. Death, broken homes, pressure of society, stereotypes, racism, colorism and much and the everyday lives of black teens are painted through dance, spoken word, song and theatre.”

6. Kyle Bostian, for his play “Pyramid Builders”.

To be produced in Fall 2020 by Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. “Ancient myths. Modern agriculture. Tribalism. War. Climate change. White supremacy. In 2012 and 2032, two diverse sets of characters experience the impact of these things on their lives in an exploration of the rise — and fall? — of civilization.”

7. Alumni Theater Company, for the ATC New Works Showcase.

To be performed March 6-7, 2020 at Alumni Theater Company. Excerpts of new works created by the ATC Professional Ensemble. More info.

8. Judy Meiksin, for her play “Seeking Transparency”.

Work in progress. “A gifted young woman who believes she has no chances in life reinvents herself as she is professionally groomed for the field of science by an unscrupulous professor.”

9. Deonna Dykes for her play “Black History Month: A Homage to our Ancestors”.

To be performed February 29 and March 1 2020. “Four teens explore the nature of their ancestry through a series of poems and monologues. They grow to appreciate their history and pay homage to their fallen ancestors.” Tickets and info.

10. In addition, the August Wilson Society received $1000 to support its production of August Wilson’s “How I Learned What I Learned” at the August Wilson Center on March 13, 2020 at 8 PM.

Written and originally performed by August Wilson himself in 2003, “How I Learned What I Learned” is the autobiographical story of a young black artist’s journey through the hardships of growing up in the Hill District, ultimately leading to his success as a writer. Tickets and info.



Help Us Grow

miss-julie-boysPittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is committed to developing and showcasing the works of local playwrights; from accomplished masters like August Wilson and George S. Kaufman to promising new talents.

Donate Now

Our productions are also supported by:

Opportunity Fund, Heinz Endowments, Advancing Black Arts, Pittsburgh Foundation, RK Mellon, RAD logos