Details Revealed for Contributing to Fennell Scholarship Fund

News   Details Revealed for Contributing to Fennell Scholarship Fund
 
Since the Nov. 12 death of Broadway publicist Bob Fennell, many friends and colleagues have inquired about how to contribute to a scholarship fund set up in his name Brooklyn College.

Fennell taught at Brooklyn College, which set up the fund for the benefit of a first-year management student in Brooklyn College's MFA program.

Contributions can be made in two ways. By mail, checks should be made out to the "Brooklyn College Foundation," with "Robert A. Fennell Fund" in the memo line. The mailing address is: Brooklyn College Foundation, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210.

Online, interested parties are asked to go to www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/offices/bcf/makeagift.php; then go to the line: "I would like my gift to be directed to:" and click "Other." In the adjoining box type in: "Robert A. Fennell Fun" and continue from there.

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Bob Fennell, a press agent for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, died during the early hours of Nov. 12, following a brief illness. He was 48. His death was announced by Michael Borowski, Marc Thibodeau and Candi Adams, his colleagues at the firm known as The Publicity Office. The cause was liver cancer, according to the New York Times.

In many ways, Fennell's last few years as a publicist were his most successful. He was press representative for the musical Wicked, a Broadway smash so big as to rank as a phenomenon. He also handled press for the Tony-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain, which brought Julia Roberts to the New York stage.

All three shows were produced, in part, by David Stone, who also used Fennell on the 2002 Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha.

Among The Publicity Office's other Broadway clients were the shows The Diary of Anne Frank starring Natalie Portman, I'm Still Here... Damn It!, Putting It Together, James Joyce's The Dead, The Green Bird, Follies, Jane Eyre, Festen and the currently running Grey Gardens. The company also did press for the Off-Broadway nonprofits Playwrights Horizons and The Signature Theatre Company.

Over six feet tall, with dark wavy hair, a square jaw and ramrod posture, Fennell was an imposing figure with a piercing gaze. He was a fierce protector of his clients' shows and did not shrink from confrontations with members of the theatre press.

A longtime resident of New York City, he worked as a carpenter and actor before becoming a theatrical press agent. Since 1996 he was co-owner of The Publicity Office. Before that, was an associate at the agency Boneau/Bryan Brown.

Robert Arthur Fennell was born in Yonkers, NY, the son of Katherine (Granger) Fennell and the late Robert Augustine Fennell. Fennell was a graduate of Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, as well as Fordham University and New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

He is survived by his longtime companion Stacy Shane as well as sisters Mary Ann Brendler, Susan D'Agostino, Katherine Hoffnagle, Elizabeth Frare and Nancy Case, and three nephews and six nieces. He was also brother to the late Jeanne DeCola.

A wake was held Nov. 15 and will continue Nov. 16, 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at The Whalen & Ball Funeral Home, 168 Park Avenue, Yonkers (914-965-5488). A funeral service will be held on Nov. 17 at 10:30 AM at The Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart, 110 Shonnard Place, Yonkers.

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