Linda Burson, American Theatre director, playwright. Beloit College scholar, 1984, humanities scholar Arrowhead Library. Sys., Beloit, 1986; State Arts communications of Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee grantee, 1968-1971, 78-79, 81; named Outstanding Working Woman Sigma Delta Tau, 1976, Achievement in Arts, Tennessee, 1974.
Milly Barranger is an author, educator, and producer and lives in New York City where she writes books about women and the modern American theater.
She is Dean Emerita of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre. She has served on boards of the Paul Green Foundation, the National Theatre Conference, The College of Fellows of the American Theatre, and the League of Professional Theatre Women. She has also served as Past President of the National Theatre Conference and the American Theatre Association. She holds the title of Distinguished Professor Emerita of Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served concurrently as chairwoman of the Department of Dramatic Art and producing director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, a member of the League of Resident Theatres. She received the 2009 Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education and the New England Theatre Conference 2010 Special Award for Outstanding Achievement in the American Theatre.
Recent books include Audrey Wood and the Playwrights; A Gambler's Instinct: The Story of Broadway Producer Cheryl Crawford ; Margaret Webster: A Life in the Theater; Unfriendly Witnesses: Gender, Theater, and Film in the McCarthy Era; Theatre: A Way of Seeing (seven editions); and Understanding Plays (three editions). She is coeditor of The Group Theatre: Passion, Politics, and Performance in the Depression Era by Helen Krich Chinoy; and coeditor of Notable Women in the American Theatre: A Biographical Dictionary; and she has compiled reference works on Margaret Webster and Jessica Tandy. She is at work on a book entitled The Group Theatre's Women: A Cautionary Tale.
She has lectured at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on Broadway producer Cheryl Crawford and on stage director Margaret Webster and the 1943 Broadway production of Othello with Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen, and José Ferrer.
More at: http://www.millybarranger.com/
What have you seen as positive change in the theatre in your lifetime? Are there negatives?
The positive change is that the quality of our work has vastly improved in my lifetime. The negative is that the popularity of the American Outdoor Historical Drama is waning.
3. What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
From Mark Sumner, the outgoing director of the Institute of Outdoor Drama when I was following him in the job: “Don’t get stuck in this chair. Go out and see what’s being done across the country.” Did or didn't you follow it? Indeed, I did follow it for my 18 years at the IOD, and I would visit as many as 25 outdoor theatres (history plays, Shakespeare festivals and religious dramas in 38 states), each summer season. What were the consequences? I had a reading of the pulse of the outdoor theatre genre in the U.S., and could address trends and concerns that best served the movement.
Margot Harley co-founded The Acting Company with the late John Houseman in 1972. She co-produced the Broadway productions of The Robber Bridegroom and The Curse of an Aching Heart with Faye Dunaway. She produced John Houseman's celebrated revival of Marc Blitzstein's musical play The Cradle Will Rock in New York and at the Old Vic Theatre in London. Off-Broadway, she produced Ten by Tennessee, a two evening retrospective of Tennessee Williams' one-act plays directed by Michael Kahn at The Lucille Lortel Theater, and the New York premiere of Eric Overmyer's On the Verge, directed by Garland Wright at The John Houseman Theater. She was Administrator of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School for its first twelve years, from 1968 to 1980. Prior to that she appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions as an actress and dancer. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she attended LAMDA on a Fulbright Scholarship.
Influences and Changes
by D.L. Rosenberg - 2/19/17
As a teenager growing up in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in the mid-nineteen fifties, I was taken by my cousin Ann, a concert pianist, to what was to make an indelible impression on my imagination. I did not understand it at the time but Brecht’s THREE PENNY OPERA at the Theatre de Lys on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village introduced me to a wondrous world of whores, thieves and corrupt politicians who certainly were not common characters on the polite drawing room stages of those days.
Marc Blitzstein’s text, Kurt Weiil’s music, Brecht, and what I later understood to be a magnificent performance by a woman named Lotte Lenya, in a small theatre with a shower curtain backdrop, simply became the most exciting thing I had ever seen. While I had been thrilled by the original production of OKLAHOMA on Broadway, this was “something else.” The eight-piece German ratskeller band, the thrilling words and music in the tongue-in-cheek satire and the messages sung directly to the audience by actors who stepped out of character showed me a new world of theatre. “What keeps a man alive? He lives on others.”
I thought it would be fitting to begin with the protean and erstwhile peripatetic Ted Herstand, who started the ball rolling while the subway rolled uptown. - David Fuller, NTC Vice President
My first experience with Miss Mullin was at the age of nine or ten when I became a student in her Saturday classes, one class for the younger children, one class for the older. I started in the early class, for one dollar per year, which my parents told me they could afford. The fee was obviously not for profit, but rather to make it seem more important to the kids. As I later figured out, this was the perfect class for developing some of the child and juvenile actors used in the theatre company's major productions. Soon I learned that it also could provide training for a life in the theatre in every other aspect of theatre employment and, of course, for the development for future audience members.
The genesis of the Living Legacies series began during a conversation I had on the Uptown No. 2 Train (7th Ave. Express) during the 2015 NTC Conference, when I shared the trip to Harlem with long-time member Ted Herstand. We talked about one thing and another, but got around to personal history and Ted told me some interesting tales of his time as a child actor at the Cleveland Playhouse in the 40's, as well as working in radio and early TV. With the passing this spring of my father, I got to thinking about lives lived and how often stories remain untold. Fortunately for my family my Dad wrote some of his stories down.
But what of our NTC family? Are we preserving the past for the future? Our members all have lived and are living wonderful, full lives, specifically in the theatre and in show business generally. Certainly, many have written books, but some books don't get written simply because the potential writer is too busy living! Living Legacies is an attempt to bridge that gap.
- David Fuller, NTC Vice President
CELEBRATING AND PRESERVING THE WISDOM OF OUR MEMBERS