Brad Nelson Winters, Artistic Director of Chicago's Terrapin Theatre, Dead in Homicide

Obituaries   Brad Nelson Winters, Artistic Director of Chicago's Terrapin Theatre, Dead in Homicide
Brad Nelson Winters, 38, artistic director of the fringe Chicago troupe, Terrapin Theatre, was found strangled and stabbed to death Aug. 19 in his Lincoln Park apartment.

Mr. Winters, who was also a Terrapin actor and board member, was called the heart and soul of the small troupe devoted to new voices. Colleagues from his Northwestern University day job called the manager of his apartment to say he hadn't come to work in two days. According to the Chicago Tribune, the back door of his apartment was open and his wallet and cell phone were missing. His death has been ruled a homicide.

Reportedly, family members hadn't heard from him since Aug. 14.

Mr. Winters was a director and actor with the company. He has served as artistic director since 1998.

Terrapin Theatre Company member and Board member Susie Griffith said in a statement: "Brad was an inspiration and a joy to work with in the theatre and in life.  His insight and humor gave Terrapin a vision and a sense of community that launched us forward."

Jimmy Freund, managing director of Terrapin Theatre said, "Brad's enthusiasm for his art was absolutely contagious and irresistible. This act is unfathomable.  Brad's leaving takes with him only our Brad—his love and passion will remain strong in the community of theatre and life." A native of Ohio farm country, Mr. Winters studied at Wayne State University in Detroit and then moved to Chicago to pursue a theatre career. He performed and studied with The Second City and acted regionally.

For Terrapin ( Mr. Winters directed critically acclaimed productions as Stags and Hens, Blue Remembered Hills, The Sneeze, The Government Inspector, The Nina Variations and Brimstone and Treacle, and was a member of the award-winning acting ensemble production of Aunt Dan and Lemon.

He began as artistic director in June 1998. A member of Screen Actors Guild, Brad began his professional acting career with the Indiana Repertory Theatre and received additional training with the Second City Training Center and Shakespeare Repertory Theatre. He has appeared in numerous productions including The Common Pursuit, Misalliance, The Foreigner, The Misanthrope and Inherit the Wind. He recently directed Terrapin's world premiere production of the go by rising Chicago playwright Brett Neveu, which received a Joseph Jefferson Committee Recommendation.

Mr. Winters was responsible for all facets of the artistic health of the company, including mission, season selection, new plays submission procedures, artistic quality of Terrapin's productions and projects and outreach efforts.

A Chicago theatre community wake for Mr. Winter will be held on Sept. 29 from 6:30-10 PM at Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted, in Chicago. For more information about this memorial event, call (312) 464-1345.

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