Friday, October 14, 2016

Terry Dodd

Playwright, director, screenwriter, educator; much more to his friends and the people who knew him -- via John Moore at John will have the most and the latest information, as he really is the nerve center of the region's theater scene! Plus, he has seen far many more of Terry's plays than most. I am cribbing shamelessly from him.

Terry did so much; he started site-specific work decades before anyone else, in the old Storz Garage at 17th and Penn, and at the Barth for "Hot L Baltimore" -- yearly productions continue as a fundraiser for Senior Housing Options. He wrote 16 plays, and they were interesting and engaging! Every one of them! If you were a theater critic at the time, you knew Terry's work was going to be, at least, compelling. I remembering bawling during his "Vaughn, NM, Christmas Eve, 1956" --  and that was one of his funnier efforts! He could tell a story, the most basic and overlooked function of the writer for any medium. As a prolific director, he was always bringing out the best in people while serving the work -- another seemingly impossible double task.

For me, personally, a decade behind him, he was an inspiration. He just kept knocking it out, waxing and waning in the public eye as certain works were valued over others, and just doing the work, getting it up there on stage, making it happen, making a difference in a million different ways, large and small. Later, we got to be friends, and shamelessly indulged our love for Golden Age Hollywood, musing on the dubious attractions of Merle Oberon and Susan Hayward. It was a privilege to be able to thank him long ago on introduction, given that he died so suddenly. Dammit! A good guy.