East Lyme - Linda Herr took her final bow on Dec. 23, 2012, and journeyed on to her eternal stage. Herr, 72, of Niantic, was professor emeritus of theater at Connecticut College where she taught for 33 years.
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An accomplished actress and director, Herr was highly regarded by students and colleagues. One former student said of Herr, "She had great insight into her students and cared deeply about them. She helped students make connections that drew on their strengths and, in so doing, helped them recognize those strengths."
Herr directed many productions at Connecticut College, including "The Waiting Room," by Lisa Loomer, "Suddenly Last Summer," by Tennessee Williams, and "Love of the Nightingale," by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Her research and teaching focused on Eugene O'Neill, Henrik Ibsen and directing as a profession.
Herr transformed Connecticut College's theater program into a full academic department and major and then served as chair for most of her tenure. She also served as Dean of Academic Programs from 1997 to 2000. She was instrumental in the opening of the college's Tansill Black Box Theater in 1999, where she directed Estelle Parsons in "Medea." She retired from teaching in 2009.
Herr's work as an actor was diverse. During her career, she was cast as Lady MacBeth in "Macbeth," Maggie in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", and Amanda in "Private Lives."
Herr worked extensively with the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, especially during Collaborations Three: The Eugene O'Neill Centennial in 1988. Her work also took her to China and Russia and frequently to New York where she conducted training workshops for actors and directors.
Herr earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and a master's degree from Hofstra University. Prior to joining Connecticut College in 1976, she was an assistant professor of theater at Vassar College.
She was actively involved in theater organizations, including the Ibsen Society, Association for Theater in Higher Education, Dramatists Guild, Society for American Drama, Theater Communications Group, Friends of Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and Friends of Monte Cristo Cottage.
She was born in Chicago, on July 11, 1940, to George and Lucille Kohlhof. She is survived by her two sons, Adam Herr and Gregory Herr; and her grandchildren, Lucille Santiago and Wilhelm Herr.
She was predeceased by her daughter, Pamela Herr.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, in Palmer Auditorium at Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave., New London. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Women & Girls Fund at the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, 147 State St., New London, CT 06320, or Connecticut College Theater Department, c/o Office of College Advancement, 270 Mohegan Ave., New London, CT 06320.
Published in The Day on Jan. 16, 2013