He knew roles, and the actors who brought them to life, better than anyone on Broadway, and it was his lifelong passion to match them well.
The original Orin Dennis from ‘Children of Lesser God,’ the self-starting Merkin had a rich career as a Deaf theatre innovator, mentor, and raconteur.
Though shy and reserved himself, he pushed his actors beyond self-consciousness to imaginative extremes and genuine discovery.
A producer on and Off-Broadway, she founded Drama Inc., now Milwaukee Rep, in 1954.
Friends and colleagues remember the hard-working, playful-spirited performer and teacher who was the founding artistic director of Dell’Arte International.
As the Chicago Tribune’s lead theatre critic from 1978 to 2002, he helped build the city’s unique theatre scene, both by covering it and by getting to know its major players.
He was a stage manager whose career ranged from the Midwest to Broadway to Salt Lake City.
Known for his historical plays, including ‘Nixon’s Nixon,’ Lees also made a name scripting video games.
How the Philly playwright’s arrival in New York in 1968 changed the course of Black theatre in the U.S.
He was a writer with rigor and taste, but as anyone who knew him (or sat near him) could tell you, he was as demonstrative and passionate an advocate as the theatre has ever had.