Aaron Frankel died at the age of 96 on May 12, 2018. A director and acting teacher, he was for many years a fixture on the New York City theatrical scene. He directed over a hundred musical plays, some twenty of them new, in addition to collaborating as a writer both on and off Broadway. He was widely hailed for his teaching skills and taught at ten universities, including Columbia University, New York University and the New School, where he led a musical-theater writing workshop for over thirty years. He also taught acting at HB Studio. He was the author of the well-received Writing the Broadway Musical.
Frankel was born and raised on the Upper West Side and lived from 1946 through his death in the same apartment overlooking the Hudson River at 425 Riverside Drive. He greatly enjoyed a weekly lunch at Sardi's with friends and colleagues. He was deeply devoted to his wife Abetha Aayer, to whom he was married for 48 years and who died in 2002. They had no children. He was a veteran of WWII during which he served with the US Army in Europe as a French-language interpreter.
He is the son of A. Philip Frankel and Estelle Cohen Frankel. He had one brother, Charles Frankel, who predeceased him. He is survived by a niece, Susan Frankel Hunter, a nephew, Carl Frankel, and a great-niece, Emily Hunter Plotkin.
A memorial gathering celebrating Aaron Frankel and his life in the theater will take place later this year.
For updates, or to submit a remembrance, please visit Aaron's tribute page at http://tributes.com/obituary/show/A
Published in New York Times from Jun. 9 to Jun. 10, 2018.