John McCormack, a longtime non-profit theatre advocate who served as artistic director of several companies, died at the age of 61 on May 18 following complications with COVID-19.
Mr. McCormack worked with several institutions across New York City, beginning his career in the early 1980s at Ensemble Studio Theatre as producing director. Shortly thereafter, he co-founded the Directors Project at The Drama League. Among the many positions he held throughout his career, he also served as artistic director of Naked Angels, Zipper Theater, and Summer Shorts—the latter two being companies he co-founded. Mr. McCormack also established All Seasons Theater.
He joined INTAR Theatre in 2006 as executive director, where he served until his passing. The company focuses on presenting “theatre without borders” and Latinx works.
“The loss of John McCormack is not just a loss for INTAR, but for the Off-Broadway theatre community as well,” said Artistic Director Lou Moreno. “He was a living history of Off-Broadway. There was scarcely a name or a play he did not have intimate knowledge of and that perspective is what kept our offices full of chatter and laughter.”
Born in New York City on April 13, 1959, Mr. McCormack attended Hamilton College and graduated in 1981.
Among those the director worked closely with are Kevin Bacon, Patricia Clarkson, Lucas Hnath, Eduardo Machado, Deb Margolin, José Rivera, and Paul Weitz. In addition, a number of his protégé went on to become artistic directors of their own theatres, including Tony winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away) of La Jolla Playhouse. In 2014, he was instrumental in bringing playwright Albert Innaurato and director Jack Hofsiss back to the New York theatre scene with Doubtless.
Mr. McCormack is survived by his sister Katherine McCormack and her spouse Theodore Kagy, his sister Mary Mazza and her husband Anthony Mazza, his brother James McCormack, and his brother Paul McCormack and his spouse Kathleen McCormack. He is also survived by his niece and nephews: Ryan Kagy and his spouse Laura Goodman, Alex Kagy, Ainsley McCormack, and Trevor McCormack. He is predeceased by his father James McCormack, mother Ann Root McCormack, and his brother Roy McCormack.
A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations in his memory be made to The Actors Fund’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief.