Trinity Repertory Company Holds Memorial Celebration for Marion Simon Today
Trinity Repertory Company invites the public to remember and celebrate the life of the lateMarion Simon, former executive assistant to Trinity Rep artistic director, Adrian Hall (and later Richard Jenkins), who passed away in December at the age of 90. The memorial celebration -featuring speakers and stories about Trinity Rep's longtime friend - will take place tonight, May 7, at 2PM in Trinity Repertory Company's Dowling Theater, 201 Washington St. in Providence. The memorial service is free and open to the public - seating reservations are not necessary, but those with special seating needs should call (401) 521-1100, ext. 104.
Though Marion Simon's title was executive assistant, the work she did at Trinity Rep for 27 years, beginning in 1966, encompassed nearly every aspect of producing theater, nurturing artists, and developing audiences. Her importance to Trinity Rep in its first three decades cannot be overstated. To a huge extent, it was because of her dedication, generosity, tenacity and wisdom that Trinity Rep is able to celebrate its 50th anniversary season today.
Born in Philadelphia, Simon had come to Rhode Island in the late 1940s, wife of Dr. Stanley D. Simon, first moving to Newport, then to Providence. Having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1944, and earning a master's degree in linguistics at Brown in 1962, she tried a variety of jobs and volunteer work before finding an interest in theater.
She began volunteering, then working at Trinity Rep in its first days as a community-oriented organization that became professional. As the executive assistant to former Trinity artistic director Adrian Hall, she ran the theater operations, secured grants and donations, ruled on contracts, hired and fired, and organized the Project Discovery theater experience for tens of thousands of Rhode Island school students. Hall was the well-regarded director of the theater; Simon was the driver. Actors, directors, critics, political figures and others said they knew that the route to successful relations with the theater went through her. Others may have had their names on projects, but those close to the theater recognized that it was Simon's authoritative voice that usually made things happen.
In addition to her work with Trinity Rep, Marion Simon shared her talents with the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, the League of Professional Theater Women, the Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theater, and the Actors Fund in New York.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY: The State Theater of Rhode Island, Trinity Repertory Company is now celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season.Since its founding in 1963, Trinity Repertory Company has been one of the most respected regional theaters in the country. Featuring the last permanent resident acting company in America, Trinity Rep presents a balance of world premiere, contemporary, and classic works for an estimated annual audience of approximately 145,000. In its 50-year history, the theater has produced 62 world premieres, mounted national and international tours, and, through its MFA program, trained hundreds of new actors and directors. This season marks the 46th year of Project Discovery, Trinity Rep's pioneering educational outreach program. Last season, Trinity Rep's educational programs reached over 16,000 Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut students through matinees as well as in-school residencies and workshops. Brown University/Trinity Rep offers professional training for actors and directors in a three-year MFA program. The 50th Anniversary season concludes with the world premiere ofVeronica Meadows by Stephen Thorne and A Lie of the Mind by Sam Shepard. Subscriptions are now on sale for Trinity Rep's 2014-2015 Season, which includes the world premiere Curt Columbus' translation of Ivanov by Anton Chekhov, Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon, Middletown by Will Eno, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, A Flea in Her Ear by Georges Feydeau and the world premiere of Melancholy Play: a new chamber musical by Sarah Ruhl with music by Todd Almond. For more information, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.trinityrep.com.