31 October 2006

how a death makes us remember

seeing the New York Times obit of critic Richard Gilman this morning made me recall bringing him to Kent State 22 years ago. I put together an academic conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Open Theater. Kent was the logical place for such an event because we housd the company's papers -- as well as those of its director Joseph Chaikin & leading playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie.

I believe the panel discussions are all available on tape in the archives. I tend to remember the social events. a couple of gatherings at my house & a reception in Special Collections. my recollection of Gilman was of a tall man who was urbane but with a lively sense of humor.

that experience was important because it allowd company members to publically vent some differences that needed airing. I don't know for certain but expect that some true mending happend.

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