Friends Will Celebrate Life of Mark D. Vaughan, St. Louis Actor and Director, in NYC Sept. 10

News   Friends Will Celebrate Life of Mark D. Vaughan, St. Louis Actor and Director, in NYC Sept. 10 A memorial will be held in New York to celebrate the life of actor and director Mark D. Vaughan, the St. Louis-based artist who died April 19 after a long illness.
Mark D. Vaughan
Mark D. Vaughan

The celebration of Vaughan's life will be Sept. 10 from 1-5:30 PM at the Voorhees Theatre, New York City College of Technology, 186 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY.

Vaughan, 35, was a St. Louis Equity actor who graduated from Wagner College on Staten Island, where he performed in numerous productions. In addition, he performed at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, CT, at The Lambs Theatre in New York, and at the Muny in St. Louis.

At age 15, he founded Characters & Company, a theatre company in the St. Louis area. "Characters & Company was a not-for-profit community theatre group for all ages that gave young people a chance to learn about all aspects of theatre — not just performing but building sets, stage managing, etc.," according to Vaughan's sister, Jennifer Vaughan. "Many people who performed with Characters & Company over the years have gone on to perform on Broadway and across the U.S. in productions, and there are others who design, stage manage."

Under Mark Vaughan's leadership, Characters & Company produced the St. Louis premieres of Assassins and Grand Hotel, the Musical and "developed a reputation for producing shows no one in the area would" — Falsettos, Half a Sixpence and Smile, for example.

The company no longer exists. Its final show was Seussical in 2004. The troupe had lost its permanent home, and Vaughan's failing health led to the troupe's demise. Vaughan, who battled cystinosis all of his life, was legally blind while he directed and played the Cat in the Hat in the hopeful musical about community and connection. Vaughan also performed at St. Louis' Muny as Little Jake in Annie Get Your Gun with Florence Henderson in 1981 and as John Darling in Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby in 1987, as well as with numerous other companies.

Anyone who knew Mark D. Vaughan is encouraged to attend the memorial, his sister said. For more information, write MarkDVaughan@aol.com.