Mac Wellman is an American playwright, author, and poet. Wellman is best known for his experimental work in the theater which rebels against theatrical conventions, often abandoning such traditional elements as plot and character altogether. His plays frequently resemble a moving collage of events which has more in common with an avant-garde dance production than Broadway-style theater. Wellman has stated, â€œMore and more I think all theater is site-specific. When plays work, they work in the space.â€ Helen Shaw writes, â€œSince a 1984 essay, â€˜The Theatre of Good Intentions,â€™ [Wellman] has been the cynosure in a heaven full of experimental playwrights who rail against what Jonathan Lear, in his book Open Minded, called a â€˜tyrannyâ€™ of â€˜the already knownâ€™â€.
Discussing his style with BOMB Magazine, Wellman said that he uses words as objects in his writing. "I found if you try to write totally in cliches and things that don't sound right," Wellman clarified, "you deal with a language that frankly is 98% of what people speak, think, and hear. So it's enormously enjoyable." This type of language has been positively characterized as "an untrammeled flow of logorrhea: plain words, fancy words, space-age words, Victorian words and words that defy the dictionary" by New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley. In terms of production, Wellman experiments with stage direction. Some directions are spoken and others are not, blurring the line between action and direction. Wellman notes, â€œThatâ€™s something Iâ€™m really interested in. I like it when people talk about whatâ€™s going on in a play. Sometimes itâ€™s more interesting than trying to enact everything.â€