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Ed Wilson (1927-2023)

We fondly remember Professor Edwin Wilson, our distinguished colleague and department chairperson.  Ed was always active in the New York theatre community and participated in many of its institutions, especially those devoted to supporting promising young playwrights. He established Hunter Playwrights which produced new plays here at Hunter.  Ed was part of the team of Hunter arts faculty who created the interdisciplinary course Explorations in the Arts. While on our faculty, he was also theatre critic for the Wall Street Journal, served on the Pulitzer Prize Drama Jury, and was a member of the Tony Nominating Committee.  Ed was a trustee and board chair of TDF and served on the boards of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the John Golden Fund. He hosted 90 half hour television interviews with many theater artists which appeared on CUNY-TV and PBS stations around the country.  Ed was a prolific fund-raiser for our department and for the CUNY Graduate Center.


Perhaps his most significant contribution was the many theatre textbooks he wrote, often in collaboration with Alvin Goldfarb, an alum of our graduate program.  His book The Theater Experience changed the paradigm for the teaching of Introduction to Theatre classes and has  had a lasting impact on students across the United States.


David Bean (1964-2023)

The Hunter College Theatre Department mourns the recent passing of our longtime friend and colleague, David Bean, mentor to hundreds of students over the course of his time at Hunter.


Dave was Technical Director for the Hunter College Theatre Department since Fall of 2000. Over twenty three years, he oversaw more than fifty productions, constructing sets and scenery, maintained and managed our performance spaces and equipment, and shared his technical knowledge with students, nurturing their interests in technical theatre. Dave wore many hats, working with lighting and sound as well as set. His pivotal role put him in a position of working in some capacity with nearly every Theatre major who passed through our doors. One of Dave’s favorite events was the pizza party, traditionally held after every strike, when cast, crew, and faculty gather to celebrate the hard work of everyone involved in creating our department production.


Before coming to Hunter, Dave worked for more than twenty years in technical theater in roles such as Technical Director, Assistant Shop Foreman, and Master Carpenter, both in preproductions and productions, and for summer and regional theaters, as well as Off Broadway and at other entertainment venues.


Thank you Dave for all you’ve done for generations of Hunter students, many going on to careers in theatre. We Look forward to gathering as a community in the Spring semester for a celebration of Dave and all he shared with us.

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You can read memories of Dave or leave a memory of him here!

TINA HOWE (1937-2023)

The Hunter College Theatre Department deeply mourns the loss of our beloved friend, colleague, and fellow artist, the extraordinary playwright Tina Howe. Without Tina’s vision, drive and persistence our thriving MFA Playwriting Program would not exist today. For nearly three decades, she welcomed, nurtured, cajoled, galvanized, and inspired younger playwrights in our community with her inimitable mix of warm generosity, playful intelligence, and profuse exclamation. Her famous curtain line, “The whole thing is absolutely extraordinary!” sprang straight from her extravagant soul.


"Sure, we’re praised for our plays about women as victims  --  plays that show us at the mercy of disease, abuse, and self-doubt. But how much of our work is produced that celebrates strong women? Sexy and canny women? Daughters, sisters, wives and mothers who move mountains, not just dust rags?” (Tina Howe, 2004)

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