Hailing from an accomplished Chicago family, she started in journalism, then went on to break barriers as an actor, playwright, and director.
The longtime artistic director of Oregon Children’s Theatre lived out his passion for supporting the development of others, both onstage and off.
For years he was the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization’s secret weapon, with an impeccable ear and an ideal combination of passion and practicality.
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.