Stuart Vaughan, Director of Shakespeare, Dies at 88

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20 Jun 2014

Stuart Vaughan, a director known for his love for Shakespeare as well as his collaborations with Joseph Papp, died of prostate cancer June 10 at his home in High Bridge, NJ. He was 88 years old.

Mr. Vaughan was born Aug. 23, 1925 in Terre Haute, IN, and was the son of the late John H. Vaughan and Paulette Walker Vaughan.

Mr. Vaughan staged several of the New York Shakespeare Festival's inaugural productions. His Broadway directing credits include Hamlet, The Octoroon and King Henry IV, Parts I and II, among others. He directed such actors as Al Pacino, Colleen Dewhurst, Elizabeth McGovern and Martin Sheen.

He was a longtime collaborator with Shakespeare in the Park founder Joseph Papp, partnering with him on some of the Shakespeare Festival's first productions at an outdoor amphitheatre on Manhattan's Lower East Side, including Julius Caesar and The Taming Of The Shrew in 1956. The next year, when the Festival moved to a temporary stage in Central Park, Vaughan directed Two Gentlemen Of Verona, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

Mr. Vaughan served as the artistic director of the Phoenix Theater in New York and the founding artistic director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Repertory Theatre New Orleans.



He was awarded with honorary doctorates from Rowan University and Indiana State University and taught at Harvard University and other colleges. 

Mr. Vaughan was a member of the Actors Studio. In 1978 he and his wife, Anne Thompson Vaughan, founded the New Globe Theatre, Inc. to tour classical productions to the college/university/art center circuit. 

He wrote the plays Assassination 1965, Ghost Dance and The Royal Game; the textbook "Directing Plays: A Working Professional's Method"; a professional memoir, "A Possible Theater"; and the historical novel "Captives, 1677."

He is survived by his wife, Anne Thompson Vaughan.