Andre Ernotte, the Belgian-born stage director, died on March 8 of liver disease. A memorial celebrating his life and work will be held at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theater, May 10, 4 PM. Actor Stephen Lang (The Speed of Darkness, Hamlet), author Emily Mann (Having Our Say) and critic John Simon (New York Magazine) will be among those paying tribute to the late director.
Ernotte's last assignment was to have been The Learned Ladies at NJ's McCarter Theater in early spring, but he wasn't well enough to start February rehearsals.
The Vineyard is an appropriate venue for the memorial, as Ernotte received much praise for his staging of the Polly Pen-Laurence Klavan musical Bed and Sofa produced there in 1995. He directed several shows at the Vineyard, including Pen's Christina Alberta's Father and Food and Shelter. He also staged a number of shows at the classically-oriented Ubu Repertory.
He joined the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers in 1981 and eventually became a long-standing member of board there. SSDC executive director Barbara Hauptmann told Playbill On-Line, "He was on the Board -- a voluntary job, and a lot of work -- the whole time I was here. He was a gentleman and a true theatre artist. He cared more about the art than commercialism or making money. Truly devoted. He did a lot of classical work and did it beautifully. Plus he was an excellent teacher and cared about his peers. And he was adored in Belgium."
Ernotte was born in Belgium June 3, 1943, and he will be buried there. A NY memorial is planned. He leaves behind companion Elliot Tiber. Among the shows staged by Ernotte are:
Mariette at CT's Goodspeed Opera House (1998).
Mrs. Klein at NC's Playmakers Rep (1998).
Indiscretions at FL's Coconut Grove Playhouse (1996).
Lady Strass at NY's Ubu Repertory (1996).
The Misanthrope at NJ's McCarter (1996).
Bed And Sofa at NY's Vineyard Theatre (1995).
Expatriates at NY's Seven Angels company (1995).
The Case of Kaspar Mayer at NY's Ubu Repertory (1995)
Christina Alberta's Father at NY's Vineyard Theatre (1993 & 1994)
The Orphan Muses at NY's Ubu Repertory (1993)
The Chocolate Ambassador at NY's Vineyard Theatre (1993)
Paint Your Wagon at CT's Goodspeed (1992)
Food and Shelter at NY's Vineyard Theatre (1991)
Earth and Sky at NY's Second Stage (1990)
My Gene (w/Colleen Dewhurst) at NY Shakespeare Festival (1987)
Lady Day at the Emerson's Bar & Grill Off-Broadway (1986)
Christmas On Mars at Playwrights Horizons (1983)
-- By David Lefkowitz