Mary Ellen Bernard



Mary Ellen’s career path needs a flow chart. Her creativity has found parallel outlets in performing and writing, each branching out into specialty streams that have often converged – theater, cabaret, comedy, acoustic pop, singing, recording, songwriting. All the while, working as a writer for hire guaranteed that searching for the right words would be a daily practice, whether the message was her own or someone else’s.

Wordsmithing has been her bread and butter, but theater has been her lodestar. It informed her concert work, always, making her an anomaly on the acoustic music circuit. A veteran talking blues artist once said to her: “Darlin’, if Vaudeville were alive today, you and I would be big stars.”

Mary Ellen’ artistic waters are now flowing into the big river of long-form story telling with her completion of a full-length musical. The Mountains Are Burning was inspired by the history of her hometown (Scranton, PA) and its place in early 20th century labor activism, both in the coal mines and the silk mills. The project brings this creator-communicator fully back to the place of her artistic passion – the theatrical stage.

Mary Ellen lives in the greater New York City area. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Photo by Paul Sunday.

For Women’s History Month I’m honoring the labor activist who was called “the most dangerous woman in America.” She’s a character in my musical The Mountains Are Burning. ...
Annette Bening and Jodie Foster are Oscar and SAG Award nominees for their roles in Nyad, the inspiring movie about distance swimmer Diana Nyad. I had the privilege of meeting ...