The director of education at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Andrea Allen, died in mid-November. A leader in the field of educational theatre, Allen was instrumental in the creation of both the Teaching Artist Training Lab and a teacher’s professional development program, Bringing Theatre into the Classroom. She also played a significant role in developing TCG’s Theatre Education Assessment Models. Allen’s commitment to teenagers was most evident in the development of SRT’s Playwriting Project and TeenSpeak program.
The rising comedic actor Reuben Mitchell died at the age of 31 in mid-November. After earning a master’s degree in acting from Louisiana State University and attending York University in Toronto, Mitchell moved to Philadelphia in 2010 to begin his professional career. He appeared with Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Theatre Exile, South Camden Theatre Company and the National Constitution Center. He received notable praise for his final role as President Obama only days before the 2012 election at 1812 Productions in an installment of This Is the Week That Is.
Playwright and screenwriter Robert Litz died at the age of 62 in early October. His play Great Divide was selected for the National Playwright’s Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and was thereafter produced at the New York Theatre Workshop. NYTW also produced his well-received Domino, and other works were mounted at Pittsburgh Public Theater and the Elephant Theatre Company of Hollywood, Calif. Litz was a recipient of Portland’s Drama Critics Circle Award and the Drama-Logue Award for best play.
New York–based director, actor and playwright Joel Friedman died at the age of 91 in late September. Among his directing credits are A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Central Park, Pelleas and Melisande at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and, in 1952, Affairs of State, starring a young Angela Lansbury. Friedman performed at Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater, the Delaware Theatre Company, Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company and the American Globe Theatre in New York City—where he starred as King Lear. As a playwright, he published The Skinwearers and Other Plays, an anthology of seven of his plays. He taught at Temple University and the University of Akron in Ohio.