ROUNDABOUT BLOG

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Elliot Martin

Posted on: June 6th, 2017 by Roundabout

 

Roundabout Theatre Company mourns the loss of legendary theatre producer Elliot Martin, who passed away on May 21. Mr. Martin brought some of New York's and London's most iconic productions to the stage, including the 1974 Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten and the original Broadway production of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross. He helped to transfer Roundabout's very first musical, a revival of She Loves Me, to an extended Broadway run, and on to the West End. Known for taking risks on undiscovered talent that other producers would reject, Mr. Martin built a long list of credits that includes original productions and revivals of work by August Wilson, Tennessee Williams, Beth Henley, Lanford Wilson, and Tom Stoppard, among many others. We are so proud that Mr. Martin's grandson, Martin Giannini, is part of our Roundabout family today, and we send our sympathies to all who knew and loved his grandfather.


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In Memoriam: Edwin (Ed) Sherin

Posted on: May 8th, 2017 by Roundabout

 

The Roundabout family mourns the loss of Ed Sherin, the Tony-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director of stage and screen, who died last week at the age of 87. Ed joined Roundabout’s family of artists when he directed our 1992 production of The Visit, starring his wife, Jane Alexander. This revival appeared during the pivotal 1991-1992 season—Roundabout’s first year on Broadway at the Criterion Center in Times Square. Due in large part to Ed’s extraordinary work, The Visit won the 1992 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and was nominated for 2 Tony Awards: Best Revival of a Play and Best Actress in a Play (Jane Alexander).

The Visit, 1992. At left: Jane Alexander as Claire Zachanassian. Photo credit: Martha Swope.

Born on January 15, 1930, in Harrisburg, PA, Ed served in the Korean War before embarking on a career as an actor and director. He performed in a handful of productions on Broadway, including Measure for Measure and Peer Gynt. In 1968, Ed made his Broadway directorial debut with The Great White Hope and won the Drama Desk Award for Best Direction of a Play. He went on to direct several other Broadway shows, eventually earning a Tony nomination in 1974 for Find Your Way Home. Later in his career, he became a prolific TV director and executive producer—perhaps most famously for the NBC hit-drama Law and Order.

Photo featured in a scrapbook Jane Alexander created during rehearsals of The Visit. Sherin seated at forefront.

You will be missed by all of us in the theatre, Ed. Our love and thoughts are with Jane and your family.


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In Memoriam: Martha Swope

Posted on: January 13th, 2017 by Tiffany Nixon

 

Amanda Plummer with Tammy Grimes (A Month in the Country, 1979). Photo by Martha Swope.

Amanda Plummer with Tammy Grimes (A Month
in the Country
, 1979). Photo by Martha Swope.

The photographer Martha Swope was a small-town girl from Texas who moved to New York City with dreams of becoming not a well-known photographer but a ballerina. While studying at the

School of American Ballet, fellow-dancer Jerome Robbins asked her to photograph a piece he was working on – what would become West Side Story - and it was through that work that her life as a photographer took root.

Until her retirement in 1994, Martha photographed hundreds of theatre and dance performances the world over, amassing an important portfolio that has been housed at the New York Public Library since 2010. NYPL has been steadily digitizing the tens of thousands of images so that her legacy will live on for countless generations. (NYPL Swope Digital Collection)

Nathan Lane and Kaye Ballard (She Stoops to Conquer,  1984). Photo by Martha Swope.

Nathan Lane and Kaye Ballard
(She Stoops to Conquer,
1984
). Photo by Martha Swope.

Martha Swope was Roundabout Theatre’s staff photographer from 1979 through 1993. She was friends with the company’s first press agent, Susan Bloch, and many of Roundabout’s earliest moments were captured on film by her. I had the great privilege of meeting Martha when I first arrived at Roundabout while researching the company’s history. We spent countless hours talking about Roundabout’s work and that of the many important companies and artists over the past half-century. Hearing about and seeing performing arts through the eyes of Martha Swope had a profound effect.

Martha had a remarkable gift for seeing an artist’s greatest talent and capturing that performance on stage, in the rehearsal hall, and in private moments. Her photography truly captures the simultaneous action of effort and effortlessness that all great performers embody and she turned what was before considered mere photo documentation into an art form.

 

Rest in peace, Martha. You will be greatly missed by me and the entire staff of Roundabout Theatre.

Tiffany Nixon, Archivist, Roundabout Theatre Company


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