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Glenn Meredith Loney Biography

Caricature of Glenn Loney
by Sam Norkin.

Born 24 December 1928. Attended one-room Indian Springs Elementary School, followed by Grass Valley High School. Editor of Red & Gold, the high-school newspaper, plus weekly column of HS news in local paper, The Morning Union. HS representative to local Lions & Rotary Clubs. Manager B-Basketball Team. Student Body & Senior Class President. State Finalist for 2 years in Native Sons of the Golden West Oratory Contest. Western States Finalist Lions Club Speakers Contest. 1946 Grad Class Salutorian. Scholarship Cup winner, with A-averages. Honored as Representative DeMolay. Lions, Rotary, & UC Scholarships.

At UC/Berkeley, Group Major in Speech, Theatre, English, & Journalism, graduated with Highest Honors in Speech, 1950. Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Mu Gamma, Phi Delta Phi, & Order of the Golden Bear. Senior Night Editor, The Daily Californian. Mens' Counseling. Chief of UC Theatre Lighting Staff. Hammer & Dimmer, Mask & Dagger, Thalian. Chief of Ushering Staff Wheeler Hall Lectures. Le Cercle française & Deutscher Verein. Reader-Assistant in Speech to Professors Alan Reynolds Thompson, Angela Sullivan, and .Edward Z. Rowell - father of famed photographer Galen Rowell.

At University of Wisconsin/Madison, 1951. MA in Speech & Theatre, majoring in Oral Interpretation of Literature & minoring in Theatre. Gertrude E. Johnson Scholar. Thesis Topic: "Edith Sitwell: A Study."

At Stanford University - awarded, while in US Army, 1954 - a PhD in Theatre History & Dramatic Literature. Teaching Assistant in Speech & Oral Interpretation. Scholarships. Dissertation Topic-"With Distinction": Dramatisations of Popular American Novels: 1900-1917. In this research, discovered Edith Wharton & Clyde Fitch's lost scripts for the play "The House of Mirth." Encouraged by the late critic Edmund Wilson, Loney later created a complete & authentic script for Associated University Presses.

From October 1953 until Autumn 1955, in US Army at Fort Ord, California. MOS 1745/Infantry Rifleman, but assigned as an Education Specialist with Transitional Training Unit, preparing illiterate or non-English-speaking inductees for Basic Training.

Fall Semester, 1955, Instructor in Language Arts-Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking-at San Francisco State College, now the State University of California at San Francisco.

Spring Semester, 1956, Instructor in English & Speech at University of Nevada Southern, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Summer 1956, Professor of Speech & English for University of Maryland, at Pepperell Air Force Base, St. John's, Newfoundland.

Engaged to lecture in English and Communication by the University of Maryland Overseas in 1956, Dr. Loney was able to study theatre in all its forms in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. From these vantage points, he began sending back reports to the New York Herald-Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, and Theatre Arts. This period began his regular summer attendances at such European Festivals as those of Edinburgh, Bayreuth, Munich, Bregenz, & Salzburg. As a reward for successfully re-establishing the U of Maryland Program for ARAMCO in Sa'udi Arabia, Dr. Loney was permitted to teach Classical Drama in Translation in Athens & Epidaurus for US Embassy & Armed Forces Personnel.

ARAMCO officials-also pleased with the results of his teaching & mentoring in Dharan, Ras Tanura, & Abqaiq-made possible a two-week Mid-Eastern tour to such sites as Petra, Old Jerusalem, Amman, Cairo, Abu Simbel [before the Temple was cut up & raised to the cliff-top], Luxor/Karnak, Valley of the Kings, & Idfu.

On his return to the United States, Dr. Loney began dual careers of writing about and teaching performing arts. He was invited back to Greece to repeat the classic drama class in 1961, aided by the First Lady of the Greek Theatre, Mme. Katina Paxinou!

Instead of returning to his native California, Dr. Loney settled in New York to study and report on the theatre first-hand. His first two years were spent full-time at Hofstra University, teaching Theatre & Speech, with a half-time post at Adelphi University, teaching Oral Interpretion & Speech.

He was then invited to Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, where he was soon promoted to Full Professor in the then Department of Speech & Theatre. When this department split into four parts - Speech, TV, Theatre, & Film - he opted for the new Theatre Department, where he continued to teach - as he did also at the CUNY Graduate Center - until his retirement in 1991.

But he also worked with the TV Department, creating & hosting for Channel 31 such weekly series as "Exploring Your Museums" & "Meet the Professor." For some years, he also wrote radio-broadcast scripts for David Berger's "Germany Today," a weekly program of cultural & social news from Germany, created in New York for the Association of West German Broadcasters.

Dr. Loney is the oldest living & longest contributing Editor for Theatre Crafts [now Entertainment Design], for which he has been writing since its debut. During this time, he has engaged in special projects such as touring the United States to report on all the Outdoor Historical Dramas. For a Circus Special, he spent time with the artists and technicians of Ringling Brothers/Barnum-Bailey Circus. One summer was devoted to studying the North American Shakespeare Festivals. This resulted in a special issue and also a book: "The Shakespeare Complex" [with Patricia MacKay].

Dr. Loney's reports, interviews, and critiques have appeared in such publications as LIFE, The American Scholar, Christian Century, Smithsonian, The Reporter, Commonweal, Commentary, The Christian Science Monitor, Andy Warhol's Interview, Architectural Forum, Dance Magazine, Musical America, American Artist, Dancescope, Ballet News, Opera News, Opera Monthly, OPERA, Theatre Week, After Dark, Ramparts, CUE Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, New York Magazine, Readers Digest, 19th Century, American Arts, Dramatics, Dramatists Guild Quarterly, Players, Ibsen News, Modern Drama, Drama Forum, Craft Horizons, Performing Arts Journal, Broadside, High Fidelity, Signature, Music Journal, Recommend Travel, Progressive Architecture, Marquee, PLAYBILL, Educational Theatre Journal, New Theatre Quarterly [UK], American-Scandinavian Review, Shakespeare Newsletter, Shakespeare Bulletin, Rundschau, Scandinavian Times, Theatre Design & Technology, Western European Stages, New York Theatre Review, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, Show Business, Stages, The Villager, San Francisco Chronicle, Other Stages, The East Side Express, The Westsider, The Chelsea-Clinton News, San Francisco Magazine, Variety, etc.

Among his special studies is a biography of the director/choreographer/dancer Jack Cole: "Unsung Genius." Following that opus, "Peter Brook: From Oxford to Orghast" was developed from Dr. Loney's CUNY Grad Center PhD Seminar on Brook's work as a director, theorist, and experimenter in theatre and cinema.

Other performing-arts books include "California Gold-Rush Plays," "Your Future in the Performing Arts," "Creating Careers in Musical Theatre," "Musical Theatre in America" [ed], and "Staging Shakespeare" [ed].

Briefing and Conference Techniques was written in France, Britain, & Sa'udi Arabia, based on experiences in training military personnel to conduct effective briefings and productive conferences. It was published by McGraw-Hill in 1959, with admiring reviews in The Wall Street Journal & The New York Times, for it was the first text to appear on conferencing. Subsequently, Dr. Loney was invited to lecture on this group-dynamics skill at the US Naval Institute in Newport, RI.

His "20th Century Theatre" [2 vols.] is a day-by-day chronology of American, British, and Canadian Theatre activity from 1900 onward. Currently, plans are underway to put this material - as well as the thousands of entries which were not published - online, to create eventually a Virtual Museum of Modern Theatre.

Dr. Loney provided Head-Notes for each drama in the Houghton-Mifflin series: "Tragedy, Comedy, and Form in Drama" [ed. Robert Corrigan]. He also created the Official Production Books for the Royal Shakespeare's Peter Brook "Midsummer Night's Dream" and the Young Vic's Frank Dunlop/Jim Dale "Scapino."

As the late John Gassner's last collaborator - Gassner was Sterling Professor of Drama at Yale - Loney edited his last collection of critiques, Dramatic Soundings, and provided a biographical introduction for the work.

His long critical biography of playwright Christopher Fry appears in Scribner's "British Authors." He has also contributed long essays & surveys to such works as the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of World Drama, Crowell's Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama, "The United States: A Handbook," Freedley & Reeves' "A History of the Theatre," Contemporary American Theatre Critics, The American Academic Encylopedia, Dance Encyclopedia, etc., etc.

Having grown up in California's Mother Lode Country, Dr. Loney has long been an ardent historical preservationist. He is especially interested in saving & restoring historic theatres as a member of the Theatre Historical Society & the League of Historic Theatres. And he is a member of the World Monument Fund, as well as a member of the Municipal Arts Society in New York and a Nominator for the Society's Brendan Gill Award.

Dr. Loney also created, wrote, and edited Art Deco News and its successor, The Modernist, for the Art Deco Society of New York for over 12 years.

Named an Honorary Fellow of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, Dr. Loney has also been honored by inclusion in many scholarly & professional books, such as Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, Directory of American Scholars, Contemporary Theatre, Film, & Television, etc., etc.

Now a Professor of Theatre Emeritus at the City University of New York [CUNY] Graduate Center, Loney remains a member of various professional and academic theatre organizations. He is [a non-recording] Secretary of the Outer Critics Circle and a Nominator for its annual Outer Critics Circle Awards. He is also a member of the Drama Desk, the American Theatre Critics Association, and the International Association of Theatre Critics, as well as the Music Critics Association of North America.

He has presented papers and been involved in the activities of the Ibsen Society, the American Society for Theatre Research, and the International Federation for Theatre Research, as well as being an American delegate to International Conferences of the ITI, or International Theatre Institute. At one time, he was the Director of AIDART - the Advanced Institute for Development of American Repertory Theatre, with offices in the ANTA Theatre.

In addition to continuing to contribute reports & reviews on the arts to various publications, since 1996, Dr. Loney has been Principal Correspondent for two important arts websites. His regular columns - often running to twenty or thirty short reviews or commentaries - are illustrated with both press-photos and his own images. A caricature of Loney by the distinguished artist Sam Norkin heads every column. The websites are: NEW YORK THEATRE-WIRE [http://www.nytheatre-wire.com] & CURATORS' CHOICE/NEW YORK MUSEUMS [http://www.nymuseums.com].

After 50 years of travel and teaching at home and abroad, Dr. Loney has finally organized and computer-indexed his thousands of color-slides, prints, & negatives of Art, Architecture, Agriculture, Ancient Theatres, Crafts, Customs, Folklore, Historical Sites, Monuments, Performing Arts, Design, Nature, Environment, Industry, & Lifestyles. He has registered this in New York City & State as Infotography [Informational/Archival Photography].

A wide range of these photos is now available for professional editorial and promotional use. These are currently serviced in digital form by The Everett Collection. Phone: 212-255-8610. FAX: 212-255-8612. But the entire Loney Infotography ArtsArchive is being presented by Dr. Loney as a Gift to the Photo Collection of the New York Public Library's Research Libraries on Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street.

In retirement, Dr. Loney has planned a program of photographing important sites & scenes in distant lands-before it is too late or too dangerous to visit them with costly camera-equipment. He has recently photographed in China & Tibet, in Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore, as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Recently, he photographed extensively in South Africa, including Kruger Game Park, and in Zimbabwe, including Victoria Falls. Most recently, he has visited Australia, photographing Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Kalgoorlie Goldfields, Ayers Rock/Uluru, Alice Springs, & The Great Barrier Reef. India is next, but it is clearly too late in time for The Vale of Kashmir…

The definitive collection of The Glenn Loney Papers is preserved in the University Library of the University of California at Davis. This file now runs to 135 linear shelf-feet. Important Loney Californiana is available for research at the Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley. Loney's Jack Cole Collection is preserved in the Theatre Collection of UCLA. The Theatre Collection of the Philadelphia Public Library also has extensive Loney Research Materials. Loney references on graphic & spatial arts are being donated on a regular basis to the Library of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Important and rare art & reference books from Loney's extensive collections have been donated - or are promised - to the Art Reference Library of the Frick Collection, the Library of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and to the Morgan Library. Other New York specialist-libraries have also received important research resources and artifacts.

Dr. Loney's extensive collection of hundreds of impressive posters - relating to the same subject-areas as his photos - has been carefully gathered from around the world for over half-a-century. After Dr. Loney has personally photographed each poster with his Canon™ digital camera - so the Loney Poster Collection can also be preserved on CDs - they have been promised to the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Final disposition of Dr. Loney's hundreds of taped-interviews with notable personages in the Arts & Performing Arts - used in hundreds of his reviews & reports - has not yet been decided. Initially, they must all be digitally preserved as many of the tapes are now decades old. This will prove both costly & time-consuming.

Nonetheless, future researchers, teachers, students, & journalists will surely want to hear Ingmar Bergman discuss his first year as Intendant of Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre in an interview made decades ago. Or listen to Sir Rudolf Bing, Maestro Julius Rudel, Kammersängerin Christa Ludwig, Professor Karl Böhm, Beverly Sills, Teresa Stratas, Franco Zeffirelli, and many others-from composers, librettists, opera-stars, conductors, stage-directors, set, costume, & lighting-designers, and even technicians-talk about Making Opera the Most Exciting & Powerful Form of Theatre!

Copyright © Glenn Loney 2003. No re-publication or broadcast use without proper credit of authorship. Suggested credit line: "Glenn Loney, New York Theatre Wire." Reproduction rights please contact: jslaff@nytheatre-wire.com.

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