John Stix, Broadway and Off-Broadway Director Who Inspired Students at Juilliard and Beyond, Dead at 83

Obituaries   John Stix, Broadway and Off-Broadway Director Who Inspired Students at Juilliard and Beyond, Dead at 83
 
John Stix, a theatre and film director, acting teacher, and faculty member of The Juilliard School since 1974, died of complications from a heart attack Oct. 2 at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, according to The Juilliard School. He was 83.
John Stix
John Stix Photo by Jessica Katz

Mr. Stix attended the John Burroughs High School in his hometown of St. Louis, graduated from the Black Mountain College in 1942 with a bachelor's degree in musicology, and later received a master of fine arts degree from the Yale School of Drama at Yale University.

During World War II, he served in the Signal Corps in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

His Broadway credits include stage managing a 1950 play by Lynn Riggs, Borned in Texas, and later directing a revival of James M. Barrie's Mary Rose (1951); Louis Peterson's Take a Giant Step (with a young Louis Gossett, in 1953); the Alan Paton-inspired Too Late the Phalarope (1956); a 1970 musical called Park (which he also produced) and a 1979 revival of Arthur Miller's The Price starring Fritz Weaver and Joseph Buloff.

His directing credits also include Joshua Logan's The Wisteria Trees and James M. Barrie's What Every Woman Knows, and Roundabout Theatre Company productions of Family Business, The Chalk Garden (with Irene Worth and Constance Cummings) and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, among many others.

Mr. Stix also directed the 1983 PBS "American Playhouse" production of "Family Business," as well as the "Omnibus" series for television. Film credits included "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery," starring Steve McQueen. Mr. Stix was the artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage from 1970-73 and artistic administrator of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute from 1969-1970. He was a member of The Actors Studio, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and the National Theater Conference, as well as a charter member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

In addition to teaching at The Juilliard School, Mr. Stix was a faculty member at the Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York City. He was often cited by Juilliard alumni as one of their most important teachers while at the School. Among his students are well-known actors such as Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Bradley Whitford and Kevin Spacey.

Michael Kahn, director of Juilliard Drama Division, said, "John Stix has been a seminal part of actor training at Juilliard since he began teaching at the school in 1974. As primary acting teacher of the First Year, his knowledge, skill and understanding of the young actor — often overwhelmed not only by the challenge of training but also of living and experiencing New York City for the first time — made him the ideal guide toward shaping the young artist. His legacy is the hundreds of working actors who were influenced and shaped by him. They, and his colleagues on the Juilliard faculty, will miss him deeply."

In lieu of flowers, the Stix family requested memorial contributions to be made to The Juilliard School for the John Stix Drama Division Student Fund.

 

John Stix (second from left) in rehearsal
John Stix (second from left) in rehearsal Photo by Jessica Katz
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