STEPHEN W. PORTER

PORTER--Stephen W., 87, died June 11, 2013. A distinguished stage director and teacher, he received his MFA from the Yale Drama School and was a professor of English and Theater at McGill University. He brought classical French theater to NYC by producing and directing The Misanthrope. His first Broadway show was the APA Phoenix Right You Are, starring Helen Hayes and Donald Moffat, followed by The Show Off, and Harvey. During his long and stellar career he received two Tony nominations, two Drama Desk Awards; directed plays ranging from ancient Greek to Shakespeare to modern comedies; taught playwriting classes; translated several plays from ancient Greek and French; and adapted works for the theater. He directed over 125 plays, 20 for the APA, 21 as the artistic Director of the New Phoenix Repertory Company, and 12 for the Circle-in-the-Square, and for many other regional, Off-Broadway and Broadway theaters. He was known and beloved by his stage families for his exceptional command of the material, his gentle manner, his steely resolve, his humor, and the success of his productions. He gave penetrating and witty discourses on classical theater until his death. He was never at a loss for just the right words. He was a life-long traveller and dedicated patron of the arts, frequently seen at ballet, theater, film, and museum exhibitions throughout the world. He is sorely missed by his devoted life partner of 53 years, Arnold Somers, and his adoring nieces and nephews, for whom he affirmed the beauty and uniqueness of the world.


Published in The New York Times on June 14, 2013