Ghosting Herbert Blau

My friend Steve Matuszak wrote this tribute to his former teacher Herb Blau last month when Blau died.

Crooked Eclipses

One of the great privileges of my life is to have known pioneering theater director and theoretician Herbert Blau, who passed away on May 3, his 87th birthday.  In fact, knowing him made me feel like I had bragging rights—I told everyone I met who worked in theater or theater studies that I had studied with him, usually to be met with blank stares, which initially surprised me.  Surely they had heard of Blau, I thought.  After all, he had been on the forefront of the burgeoning regional theater movement in the United States after World War II, founding with Jules Irving the Actors Workshop in San Francisco, who produced works by Bertolt Brecht and Samuel Beckett when both were still relatively unknown in this country.

But I should have known better.  Before I attended graduate school at UW—Milwaukee, I didn’t know who Blau was either.  From researching the…

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