MANSFIELD – Mark Sebastian Jordan’s love of theater began back in his days at Shelby High School, when drama adviser Jim Hunter came to him in class one day and told him he should be on stage. 

Since then, Jordan, 47, has tackled countless creative projects, making a name for himself as an author, storyteller, living history performer and music critic. But he’s never strayed far from the theater. 

Though he still gets stage fright, even after hundreds of performances, something about the magic of the stage brings Jordan back again and again. 

“When everything comes together and you have good people on stage, even in community theater, you can be the equal of anything happening in the entire world on stage that evening. That chemistry is there, and that I find infinitely exciting,” Jordan said.

Now, more than 20 years after the passion brought him to The Mansfield Playhouse, Jordan is taking over as artistic director of the community theater. 

Jordan replaces Doug Wertz, who resigned from the full-time position but remains active with the theater as president of the board of directors. 

Jordan first appeared on the Playhouse stage in 1994 stage in the comedy “Run for Your Wife,” directed by Millie Leverton. He made his debut as director at the Playhouse in 2002 with the comedy “Cash on Delivery.” He has acted, directed and worked tech extensively for the theater over the years.

Jordan said his favorite thing about directing is helping actors make new discoveries, not only about how a scene can work but also about the quirks and strengths they have that can be built upon to take their role to a new level. 

“They suddenly discover they can do things they didn’t know they could do, and that’s a great personal thing when you see someone take on new confidence in themselves because they’ve discovered they can do something…