Professor Takes a Different Stage

Mark Donald (Photo by Junebug Clark)Mark Donald, lecturer in UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism, has written mostly long-form narrative nonfiction during his career.

But he was so compelled by the story of his father -- a British soldier who hunted Nazis during World War II -- that he wrote the play Magnum's Opus.

The show was presented at a staged reading at the Dallas Holocaust Center in August.

He says the play allowed him to explore the subject more deeply on an emotional level than a nonfiction narrative would have allowed.

"Writers toil away at their computers, and it's a fairly solo act. But the staged reading of a play is a collaborative process," he says.

"The characters don't just come alive on the printed page, but actors breathe life into your words -- your characters, thoughts and feelings take human form. The transformation is as awesome as it is humbling."