In Memoriam: Stuart Vaughan

VAUGHAN-obitHB notes with sadness the passing of Stuart Vaughan. We are honored and grateful for the time and wisdom Stuart shared with us this year.

A memorial/celebration of Stuart’s life is being planned for September at The Public Theatre.

“Stuart Vaughan, who directed the first productions of the New York Shakespeare Festival and later seeded several regions of the country with classic works, starting repertory theaters in Seattle and New Orleans and another that toured community centers and colleges, died on June 10 at his home in High Bridge, N.J. He was 88.

The cause was prostate cancer, his wife, Anne Thompson Vaughan, said.

As a director, Mr. Vaughan earned a reputation as a specialist in Shakespeare who professed a loyalty to the text and an aversion to what he called “revisionist approaches aimed at achieving ‘relevance.’ ” In the early 1960s, he directed a well-received “Hamlet” and “Henry IV” Parts 1 and 2 on Broadway.

But he was largely unknown when the producer Joseph Papp asked him to direct “Julius Caesar” and “The Taming of the Shrew” in 1956 at an amphitheater on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the first two productions of what became a New York summer tradition — free Shakespeare outdoors…”

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