Broadway Marquees Dimmed in Honor of Ellen Stewart and Romulus Linney
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Wednesday night, as theater goers line up to get their tickets at will-call windows, the marquees of Broadway will go dark for one minute, at 8 P.M. The darkened signs are Broadway's way of honoring two theater greats who passed away this month: La MaMa, ETC. founder Ellen Stewart and playwright Romulus Linney. Though they contributed in different ways, both Linney and Stewart were celebrated artists and contributors to the theater and won myriad awards.
As the founder of La MaMa E.T.C. (which stands for Experimental Theater Club) Stewart was a bastion of New York City's downtown theater scene. Huge theater names like Robert DeNiro and Tom Stoppard as well as countless lesser-known artists pushed boundaries to great effect at the East Village staple since Stewart founded it in 1961. Stewart was 91 years old.
Playwright Romulus Linney was a prolific and award-winning playwright known for excellent adaptations of literary works as well as his dedication to passing the love of theater on to future generations as a professor. Perhaps one of the people most touched by Linney's passion for theater was his daughter, the award-winning actress Laura Linney who has appeared on Broadway as well as in film and on television. Linney was 81.
Though Times Square will still buzz and shine with its L.E.D. screens and advertisements, the famed yellow flashing bulbs of Broadway theaters Wednesday night will take a moment to honor two legacies whose contribution to theater in New York City, and beyond, will be celebrated on stage for generations.