Friday, April 2, 2010

REMEMBERING CRAIG NOEL

Craig Noel, Founding Director of The Old Globe, died at his home in San Diego of natural causes on April 3.  He was 94 years old.  Craig was a significant figure in the development of the American theater, having led the Globe from its earliest days as a community organization to an internationally renowned institution.  Over his more than 70-year career at the Globe, he directed more than 200 works, produced an additional 270 productions and created innovative and influential theater programs.  In 2007, Craig received the National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest honor for artistic excellence, by President George W. Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

Please feel free to share your memories of Craig Noel with his friends, family and colleagues by leaving a COMMENT BELOW.

71 comments:

  1. Debbi (in San Diego)April 3, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
    Wm. Shakespeare

    My heart goes out to all who knew him.

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  2. I didn't know Craig well, he was already better than 90 when I started at the Globe. But there was always something different about the house when he was in it, as if the theatre itself was remembering the life he had brought to it's stage.

    Caps, glasses, and a cigarette at intermission, we're all going to miss you, Craig. Thanks for everything.

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  3. “There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember; and there is pansies, that's for thoughts.” - Wm Shakespeare

    Thank you, Craig, for everything you gave us!

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  5. Craig meant the world to me. I was blessed to have known him and to have worked on so many productions with him (many of them stage managed by Raul Moncada - who we also lost today.)He was such a wonderful man with an amazing passion for the theater. Don and I were fortunate to spend an afternoon with him last summer. We laughed and laughed, hearing his stories, remembering times at the Globe. He had the best stories - what a life he lived!

    He was also my husband's mentor - he discovered him and gave him his Equity card.

    Oh Craig, I will miss you terribly. The world will be a less exciting and joyful place without you.

    Love,
    Claudia Hill-Sparks

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  6. "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em."
    He was a gentle giant among men.
    Craig, we are saddened at your passing but joyful for your many legacies.
    On behalf of the San Diego Shakespeare Society.

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  7. Good night, sweet prince...
    This man, who touched so many, shall not be forgotten.
    Love
    James Joseph O'Neil

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  8. As for many, Craig gave me an understanding of the heart of theatre, the spirit of art, and the joy of living a meaningful life and I will be grateful for that all of my life. He will always be the Stage Manager from Our Town telling us that "Now there are some things we all know but we don't take them out and look at 'em very often. We all know something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't the earth, and it ain't even the stars...There's something way down deep that's eternal about every human being."

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  9. Craig's graciousness and support was so important to me while I was at Old Globe. He was a wonderful human being. He will be missed.

    Much love,

    Javen Tanner

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  10. Responding to a letter, Craig invited me to shadow dramaturge Diana Maddox on the 1982 production of As You Like It that reopened the Globe after the fire. So began my career as theatrical dramaturge. For all he did to bring Shakespeare alive in San Diego, and for what he did for me, I am deeply grateful. May his memory be a blessing to all of us.

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  11. He touched so many and we should be celebrating his life!!

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  12. When Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company was just some ideas on a piece of paper, Craig Noel graciously agreed to meet with me. He asked some tough questions, "There are so many theaters in San Diego, why do you need to start this one?" he challenged. I said, "None of them commit to paying Equity wages to local actors." He smiled that Craig smile and said, "You're right. We need that. Do it." And with Craig's blessings Mo`olelo was formed.

    It meant so much to have his support. He was generous of spirit and a true inspiration.

    Peace and aloha, Mr. Craig Noel. Your legacy will outlive us all.

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  13. For nearly three-quarters of a century, Craig Noel WAS San Diego theater ---- the founding father, the guiding light, the tireless advocate.
    It was for that reason that the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle was resurrected eight years ago so that we could rename our annual awards in his honor.
    Craig proudly attended the ceremony each year, handed out each plaque and posed for photos with each honoree, until this year when his declining health prohibited his attendance.
    Craig didn't just support the Globe, he supported all San Diego theater and he loved having his name on a program of awards that supported excellence at professional theaters countywide.
    He will be greatly missed, but the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle is proud to carry on Noel's legacy in perpetuity.

    Pam Kragen
    President
    Anne Marie Welsh
    Vice President
    San Diego Theatre Critics Circle
    www.sdcriticscircle.org

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  14. Craig Noel was a towering figure in American theatre and an inspiration to all who worked therein.
    Lee Melville
    Editor/Publisher
    LA Stage
    Los Angeles

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  15. Craig Noel, the heart, soul, spirit and inspiration of the Old Globe and San Diego Theatre. I will always honor and treasure a letter I received from Mr. Noel, thanking me for my hard work and dedication. It was 1978, as a young 18 yr. old, working in the costume shop and on the 'Green Show', I had no idea Mr. Noel even knew of me. His attention to detail and respect for all who were involved in our theatre world is what made the Globe what it is today. Mr. Noel you were loved by all who met you and you will be missed!

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  16. Craig Noel was a big influence in my life. My first role in San Diego, in 1964, was in the Old Globe One-Act Play Tournament. After the performance, a gentleman walked up to me, complimented me on my performance and thanked me for being a part of the tournament. I asked someone who he was and learned that it was Craig Noel! Later on, I had the wonderful experience of being directed by Craig, in two productions. I learned from the other actors that they loved to pretend that they didn't understand his direction, at some point, so that he would jump up on the stage and do it for them. Thus, we would get to see the great man perform. What a joy!
    Rest well, dear Craig!

    Trina Kaplan

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  17. Christine Marie BrownApril 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Craig changed the lives of so many young, aspiring classical actors when he created the Master of Fine Arts program in 1987. I am so fortunate to be an alum--and to have had the experience of working with him as a director in the twilight of his career. I will forever remember him bedecked in his cap & sunglasses, cigar in hand-leaping out of his chair to show us how to dance in the middle of rehearsal at the young age of 84. He was already a legend when I met him. Good night, sweet prince indeed.

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  18. I met Craig when I was 16; He became my teacher, my friend, and my theatrical father. My love for him knows no bounds. I am incredibly grateful to have known him, and to have had so many wonderful moments with him. He will forever be in my heart.
    Carry on, Craig!!

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  19. Julie Evan SmithApril 4, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    I have cherished memories of Craig and am so proud to have gotten to know and work with him. He was a great, kind, generous man and he will be missed indeed. Peace, dear Craig!

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  20. Craig Noel- My very best memories of the Globe include him! He cast me when I was just a young intern..not once but twice! What an honor to get to work with him!!! I'll never forget his kindness and talent and wicked sense of humor-in a meeting with Jack OBrien he told me I better not turn out like "that Marilyn Monroe!!!":) I listened! I know he is directing the angels and laughing that great laugh!
    Andee( Mason) Smyer
    MFA 94-96

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  21. Being in Craig Noel's presence was like drinking from a fountain of knowledge. Not one that gushed, but one that gently splashed you with insight and inspiration. Craig Noel dwelt on a special plane and he allowed all who knew him to enter that space. His laugh, his smile, his sense of humor, his love of the human spirit and his immense love of theatre imbued his living moments. Thank you for your gifts, thank you for your grace, and thank you for the Globe. You have slipped the surly bonds of earth with a standing ovation that will linger long and lovingly.

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  22. Having spent nearly 25 years working for him, learning from him, and laughing with him, this is that rare moment at life's end where nothing more needs to be said.

    A great man, mentor, and friend who gave it all to us and left nothing unsaid or anyone untouched.

    Thank you for making us all better and doing so with such grace.

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  23. i remember kindness, and a fierce love for the art.

    thanks craig.

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  24. Jennifer S. RedmondApril 4, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Russel and I met Craig the day in 1975 when we were both cast in "Our Town"--he was our Stage Manager from that moment on. At our wedding, when the padre was late, Craig volunteered to pinch hit for him, saying, "I know the part..." We should have let him...He was a joy to see and visit till the last--always wonderfully, dryly witty, always humble about his own accomplishments, always full of encouragement to all others. We were blessed to have known him, and he'll be a part of our life always. Jennifer (Shea) and Russel Redmond

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  25. Sean Sullivan and Lynne GriffinApril 4, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    At our wedding, Craig offered to give Lynnie away, both as her father AND mother... and did! He also re-designed the parlour where we married, hours before the ceremony, (he didn't want Lynnie to be back-lit)... he, as always, directed the proceedings with ease, grace and love... and he made it better than anyone else could have. We have known and loved Craig for so many years, his laugh echoing in our hearts as we write this. You are with us always, dearest Craig.

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  26. Craig inspired so many of us in the theatre. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to know him and to work with him.

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  27. What Craig Noel gave to the Theatre cannot be measured. He affected so many lives in so many wonderful ways. I feel truly blessed to have known him.

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  28. Unknown to him, Craig Noel was a big influence on me - his theatre savvy, his generous spirit, his deep-inside passion for the arts and connection with those who took the time to 'see' him - gave me much hope the rest of the art world - he was a wonderful influence on us all and San Diego was very lucky he decided to make it his home.

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  29. Craig was such a treasure to the entire community in addition to the theatre world, so to accommondate the many people who will want to attend his memorial service, could Petco Park be used? He loved attending the Padre games. .

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  30. Craig touched so very many of us. All those amazing years of working with him and to learning from him was one of the great gifts of my life. He has been and shall always be a part of everything I do.I can still see and hear him say with that Craig smile, "David, it's only a play".
    He continues to live through us all.

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  31. To a lot of us, the Old Globe was an important part of our lives, and Craig Noel was the Globe. Working with him was a theatrical education in itself.

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  32. I met Craig Noel as a teenager growing up in San Diego. He & my grandfather were old friends. My grandfather's stagehand brother & his actress wife -- Zel & Sarah Slayen -- were members of The Old Globe back when (as they used to tell me) they did plays in a barn!!! Craig's kindness & generosity exposed me to the wonderful world of Shakespeare (plus other classic & contemporary works, as well). And his passion for theatre was certainly part of what inspired me to become an actor. I have much gratitude for Craig, and feel so lucky to have met him.

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  33. Janice Fuller LeoneApril 5, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    My dear Mentor, Teacher and Friend; I'll miss you so much. I met Craig when I auditioned in 1960 for "Girls in 509". I went on to apprentice for 7 seasons of Shakespeare and, under his direction, 5 productions in the community theater season. Then he called me into his office and "firmly" suggested that I go to New York and become Equity. I took his advice and proceeded to have a 37-year professional career. Whenever I returned to San Diego, I'd go see this lovely, still witty & vibrant man. I know that Peggy Kellner, Bill Eaton and so many others that preceded him are waiting to welcome him, fill his martini glass, and light his ever-present cigarette. Here's my hug as well, Dear Craig.

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  34. V Craig HeidenreichApril 5, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Bless him.

    I did my first play (An Inspector Calls) anywhere ever, for Craig in 1974. I stood with him the night the museum burned and the morning after the Globe burned. I believed then that as I continued in the Theatre, it would would always be as Craig presented it to me: gracious, generous and gentle.

    Perhaps I was naive.

    But when and where I do find it so, I think of him. When and where I endeavor to keep it so, I credit him. Where'er I go in the Theatre, I carry him. It has been my life, good and bad. And for that, I owe him. And shall always love him.

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  35. When I first started working at the Globe, my supervisor recommended that I schedule a short meeting with Craig Noel. I was very nervous, but I scheduled the meeting and the minute I walked into his office, I realized that I was in the company of a very special man.

    His spirit permeated the halls and stages of the theatre and I was always pleased to have the opportunity to take Craig to a special event. His mixture of wicked wit and infectious laughter made any time with Craig a pleasure. I will forever cherish the time I spent with Craig and the laughs we shared.

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  36. I would be remiss in not appearing here; foolish to think I can express anything meaningful in a such a confined space... except gratitude -- for his comings and goings, his wit, his insight, his most extraordinary lack of "control" over lives, careers, rehearsals, smoking, laughter, oh, the list is endless. He taught me the final, the last, the best lessons of all -- life ones, as well as professional. And that lovely diminuendo of his passing... he never stopped teaching by example! Me, I'm hoisting a martini in celebration! Jack O'Brien

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  37. Thanks to Craig for having faith and trust in me, allowing me to take on the role of Stephen in "Godspell" during the summer of 1976 at the Cassius Carter. San Diego and the theatrical world will miss you.

    Larry Carpenter (St. John)

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  38. What an honor to have watched his work in "Our Town". Still a teen, and only a choir member, yet Craig knew my name and that of every cast member in the show. A gracious man whose accomplishments will go unmatched.

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  39. Grace, class, and a wicked sense of humor. We must all promise to keep that spirit alive at the Globe. When we are tired, or frustrations gets us down, let us please stop a moment and think of Craig, then start backup with a smile, like he did till he was 96.

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  40. "a was a man, take him for all in all.

    I shall not look upon his like again.

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  41. It was my honor to know and work with Craig, to benefit from his wisdom and enjoy his never failing sense of humor. His profound contributions to the theatrical community in San Diego and the inspiration which he provided to so very many of us over the years will not soon be forgotten.

    Rest well from your many labors.

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  42. I will miss Craig's wisdom, gentle guidance, encouragement, and astute observations (as Virgo's we liked "observing" each other a lot); and most of all sharing frozen margarita's at the basement restaurant in the Park Manor. (We had to call ahead to get the blender downstairs!) I will love him forever.

    Lou Spisto

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  43. I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Craig Noel. Not only was Craig a true national treasure as a pioneer and leader in the American resident theatre movement, he was also a tremendously generous and kind human being. During my tenure at La Jolla, Craig was always gracious and generous to me and gave the work of the theatre a kind of affection that went well beyond any obligation or duty. Craig was a great inspiration to countless theatre artists and all of us who benefited from his talent and wisdom will be sure to pass it on to generations to come.

    Des McAnuff
    Artistic Director Stratford Shakespeare Festival; Director Emeritus La Jolla Playhouse

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  44. A few words to recognize the 30 or more years that Craig directed "community theatre" productions at the Old Globe.

    In those days, any one who "wanted to act," secretaries, clerks, carpenters, city councilmen, military personnel, doctors, lawyers, students, etc., Craig made "theatre" with them, extraordinary theatre. The stage crews, except for one electrician, also were volunteers from the community.

    The quality of theatre Craig presented for Globe audiences met, and off times exceeded, the level of professional theatre companies that toured the country, and for those offered by the old La Jolla Playhouse actors from Hollywood. For those privileged to watch it, the transition from readings and first rehearsals to opening night and beyond often was a magical happening, from raw and rough to entertaining and enriching. Those watching rehearsals sometimes wished an actor would have a problem "finding" the right meaning of his/her lines, then Craig would "play" the role. What wonderful moments!

    The foundation for the considerable stature the Globe Theatre has achieved today was laid by Craig and his "community theatre" years ago. During those days, Craig’s way of welcoming each audience was to have a herald walk down an aisle toward the stage and announce "Hark ye gentles, hark ye all, time has come for curtain call. Masks encountered in the wing, Actors wait, the play's the thing. Storied deeds in noble measure, Bring we now for your good pleasure."

    Now it is time for those who knew him, or not, to say "Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"
    Respectfully submitted by David Thompson, Public Relations volunteer, 1950’s

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  45. A great teacher, director, theater manager and human being. Certainly, this is the end of a special time in all our lives. So long and farewell.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on; and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.
    William Shakespeare, "The Tempest", Act 4 scene 1
    Richard Herring

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  46. A man of grace, wit, elegance, compassion, wisdom, kindness, generosity, integrity and an OUTSTANDING sense of humor (a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy).

    good night sweet prince indeed!

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  47. Craig's sense of humor was only slightly less devastating than Jacks. His first take, (or the one he shared with us), on any production, was so true, only the foolish failed to heed that meeting. I count it among my greatest joys, that I got to work with him, and that I listened to him, and that I minded him. I hope in my heart that while we were together, I pleased him.

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  48. Dennis Gill BoothApril 9, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    In a fleeting moment of my career, a lifetime of wisdom was shared with me by Craig Noel. So proud to have known him.

    "Full fathom five thy father lies
    Of his bones are coral made
    Those are pearls that were his eyes
    Nothing of him that doth change
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange."

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  49. I'm glad I got the opportunity of almost 20yrs. to work with such a creative and gentle man...

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  50. I was blessed to have known Craig for more than 20 years. Craig was the Old Globe Theatre - he embodied the spirit of this very special place and the theatre family that he created. I have hundreds of wonderful memories of this amazing man - from the talks we would have while driving to LA for casting sessions to watching Padres games together - but two in particular are firmly planted in my soul.

    Craig inspired me to pursue my dream of being a playwright, so I asked him to be one of the first to read and critique my first musical. Weeks went by, and still he never made any mention of my play - having watched him "avoid" talking to other playwrights who had submitted mediocre works for his comments, I became convinced that he absolutely hated my play and couldn't bring himself to telling me. A few weeks later, on the opening night of Jack's HENRY IV, I was sitting in the Festival Theatre just minutes before curtain when Craig entered and took his seat about 10 rows in front of me. Of course, whenever Craig entered any place, a reverential hush came over the crowd...and as Craig was about to take his seat, he spied me, and from across the quiet theatre he yelled "Robert - I just read your play. It's too damn long. Edit!" It was Craig in a nutshell. I smile every time I think of this moment.

    The other moment that I will never forget occurred in the mid 90s. Craig, Lorraine Boyd, Bridget Cantu-Wear and I had just finished attending the SDPAL's "Star Awards" luncheon in La Jolla and were preparing to head back to work. At the time, I owned a Jeep Wrangler, and Craig - being in a particularly jovial mood - instructed me to take the top down and take the long way back, along the ocean. If it wasn't wonderful enough to be dressed up and cruising along the ocean in an open-air Jeep, the song "American Pie" came on the radio. And for the next seven minutes, we all just sang at the top of our lungs...and I turned to my right to see Craig - in his 80s at this point - singing every word with such joy on his face. And I remember almost starting to cry when I heard him say the last line - "this'll be the day that I die" - as I realized what a beautiful and fleeting moment this was, and that I had shared it with a living legend.

    I loved this man dearly. It's difficult to accept the fact that I won't see his smiling face on this earth again, but his spirit will remain strong in the thousands of theatre artists and audiences that were impacted by his amazing life.

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  51. It is not often when a person can track their professional lineage back to someone they knew personally.

    I work in and advocate for the theatre community in San Diego. A community which was transformed by Craig Noel from a rural farm-town with precious few theatrical resources, save for the Downtown vaudeville houses that would hire outside acts to perform in them, to a leading player in American theatre. I began my theatre training at San Diego Junior Theatre, an organization that started in the 40's as an outreach program of Craig's Old Globe Theatre. I spent my boyhood and early adolescence there. Then I started writing for theatre and had my first play produced a Playwrights Project of which Craig sat on the Board of Directors. Both of my plays that were produced by Playwrights Project were staged on the Old Globe's arena stage, then called the Cassius Carter. Craig, as Board Member, attended my first play and, as Director, staged my second. Working with him one-on-one was a singular experience and a high point in my life personally and professionally. His guidance taught me so much about my art and about myself. And his belief in me had a huge impact on the trajectory of my career in theatre.

    Therefore, whenever I sit and think about the community I work in, the art I see produced at small/mid-sized/commercial theatres in town, or my own development as an artist, it always goes back to Craig. Quite simply, he is the reason so many of us are enriched by working in or patronizing such incredible, vibrant local theatre. We should never forget that.

    Jason Connors
    Board Member, Playwrights Project

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  52. My first real childhood memory isn’t of meeting Craig, but of coming to the Globe with my Dad on Saturdays and “playing secretary” at one of the desks, as Dad did whatever he was doing. I’m sure I met Craig though.

    Now fast forward about 30 yrs and the Globe has just had its devastating fire. I am at a COMBO meeting representing the SD Master Chorale, and Deborah Szekely spots me and asks if I’d help her organize the Groundbreaking Luncheon to kick off the major fundraising event. “Absolutely!” Once that event was over I asked Craig if there wasn’t something I could do at the Globe…what resulted was Deborah’s birthday gift to Craig….she “bought me for Craig for six months” as a secretary/assistant. That “working” relationship began in the fall of 1979 and lasted until 1993 when I left to come to Vermont.

    Fourteen years of laughs, fun, Board and Executive Committee meetings, lots of openings and some fancy events, where he’d hold on to my arm and I’d whisper the name of the person that was coming our way. We often had lunch at Anthony’s, as he loved their Shrimp Louis. It was a golden time. So many actors, designers and staff were there because they just wanted to work with Craig; to hone their craft or simply be some small part of the magic making. Craig honored hard work and never minced words over puffy people. He kept it real.

    In the middle 80’s Craig, Conrad, Jo Briggs and I flew to London for the Groundbreaking of the new Globe Theatre, Bankside. Sam Wanamaker had invited Craig to come and Conrad’s music was being sung by St. Thomas Church Boy’s Choir at Westminster Abbey…it sounded like a good reason to travel. Once there we met up with Bruce Maza, the Globe’s first Director of Development. We had a grand time. Conrad even helped me change a tire that was flattened by my not being used to driving on the left.

    I am so thankful and grateful to have had an opportunity to serve Craig and his Globe. Whether it was taking Bijou out for a piddle, being at his side to help remember a name, or to take his dictation. Before there was an elevator in the main office building, I’d often boost him from the “bottom”, up those front stairs. He was always grateful when we reached the top. You are so welcome Craig, it was my pleasure.
    Annie Thompson (“AT&T”)

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  53. What a wonderful treasure Craig Noel has been to San Diego! Many young artists have benefited from his educational programs and have richer lives because of this. We can all be proud to have had his inspiration in theater and life in our community.

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  54. I am grieving this loss, so deeply, because there is no other like him. And I am remembering how I owe my whole career to Craig. I was 18 years old, he was just back to the Globe from the war. He helped me to get to Hollywood, while he built the Globe into a world class theatre. He was a huge part of my life all the way to directing me,when he was 85, in "Over the River and Through the Woods".
    I will miss him forever!
    Marion Ross

    "And so he passed, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side".
    Pilgrims Progress

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  55. I became acquainted with Shakespeare and The Old Globe Theatre through a high school summer class in 1975. A wonderful teacher, Thomas Evans, at El Capitan High School in Lakeside CA introduced our class to the Shakespeare plays performed at the Globe each season and after we read each play and performed scenes for each other, we attended the productions. We saw fabulous plays with stars such as Victor Buono, Jon Glover, Tim Matheson, and Victor Garber in the years before the original globe burned down. Since those high school years I have attended many festival seasons at the Festival Stage and have continued my love of Shakespeare's plays.
    Craig Noel and The Old Globe Theatre for me will always be synonymous with Shakespeare in San Diego.

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  56. Wonderful Craig...with his generous spirit, flare for fun, and quiet wisdom. He made the local universal and the universal local. My sisters and I played in the green room, the theatre, the prop room, and among the surrounding eucalyptus through many, many rehearsals of our mother, Julia Brandley Frampton, with Craig in the 1960s and 70s. Their final collaboration was Toys in the Attic - but his impact on our family still carries on. And Craig gave me my first internship, when I returned home for the summer from Wellesley College - so I'm yet another whose career he assisted. Beloved Craig, we were so lucky to have you!

    Dr. Edith Frampton
    English and Comparative Literature Dept.
    San Diego State University

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  57. My two years at the Old Globe were a special time in my life. Craig Noel led the company by example. The Globe was a friendly place because he was so friendly, and its productions were excellent because of Craig's high standards. I admired him very much.

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  58. Bridget Cantu WearApril 28, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    This man was a gentleman. The universe graced us with his charm, wit, artistry, quiet ambition to do well and determination to dream, create and produce. We were graced with his love for his friends, humility, love of life, humor and honesty. We were graced by his mentoring of all he met who wanted to succeed. We were graced by his complete lack of ego and greed. We were simply graced everytime we were in his arena..pure and simple grace. What a gift he gave to so many people on this earth.
    Thank you Craig!

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  59. Craig was the sweetest man I ever knew. He taught me about art, about theatre, about exceeding my limits, but mostly about life. For so many of us whom he gave temporary quarter to in the Pool House or at the Alamo, his kindness was only exceeded by his grace and wit. His spirit will live on through us, and demands our very best work every time we dare step on a stage or behind the curtain.

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  60. I owe some of my happiest moments in the theatre to Craig and then to Craig and Jack O'Brien. They created the most symbiotic of relationships by working together seamlessly. Craig invited Jack in when he felt the time was right for him let go a bit -- and then let Jack do what he needed to do without interfering; Jack walked in and wisely kept Craig around -- as a mentor, as a director as an advisor and as a friend. How smart of them both. To my knowledge, it was the smoothest transition from one artistic leadership to another in the history of American theatre. How lucky for San Diego. Craig you are missed every day, but thank you for making such fabulous use of the time you were given. All of us are your beneficiaries.

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  61. I was fortunate to spend 2 summers acting at the Globe in Shakespeare. I recall Craig being in the room when I audtioned. I knew who he was and made me even more nervous. He was kind and smiled and told me where I added 2 small words to an often used Shakespeare monologue. I checked. He was right. I never used the monologue again and went looking for something obscure. His knowledge was astounding and inspired me to be better. I learned so much during my time at the Globe and will never forget the experience or Craig.

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  62. L. Michael JohnsMay 10, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    A wonderful and generous man who reached out to those of us aspiring to be on stage with such wisdom and kindness. The day he told me I had "it" my life changed forever. The theatre world will miss this amazing and oh so very kind man.

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  63. I love Craig Noel. I had the good fortune of doing 3 plays with him. He only gave me one note and said, "I've only given you one note so don't pout about it!" What a kind and generous mensch.

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  64. Craig welcomed me the my first "big" theatre experience doing props on "Don't Drink the Water". Watching him was riveting. The timing and fine touches he added to the scenes never ceased to amaze me.
    When he cast me in the revival of "Harvey" as Nurse Kelly, he had to climb up on the stage to show me how to "find my light." I did a dozen plays in one capacity or another through the 1970's. When I was close to a nervous breakdown after having worked 7 days a week rehearsing one show while doing props on the current production at a poorly chosen "opportunity" in Arlington, Ill. I called Craig, sobbing, and asked if there were any scholorships left for the Carter production. He simply responded, "Come Home."
    I was there sharing my broken heart with actors and others who flocked to the Globe the day the theatre burned. The family gathered to mourn our loss. Now we will gather again, not to mourn, but to celebrate this extraordinary man and the gifts he shared so liberally with all of us.

    I love you Craig. I will never forget everything you did for me and taught me.

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  65. What I keep thinking of are those moments when he would just sit next me on a bench on the green and smoke and talk... of life, of art of the Theatre. This giant in the American Theatre would talk, and listen to, and take time with a very young, akward, still learning actor.Craig is still at the very center of my artist life. Thank you Craig for so much. Words fail...For a life in The Theatre.

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  66. Do I remember first seeing Craig directing The Hostage in the Tavern, or directing me in Blythe Spirit and Harvey,or designing costumes for him for Kennedy's Children and Last of the Marx Brothers Writers, or calling him in 1978 to tell him his Theatre was Burning? All of this and more, but mostly I remember the kind brilliant funny man I was lucky enough to know and love along with Peggy, Bill E., Bob Mc., Tom Corcoran and so many others who are hopefully in a production meeting for the next play. I hope he holds a place for me as an apprentice.

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  67. The man we can credit with the "Saving of the Old Globe."

    It was the best interview -- he was not shy in front of the camera -- sharing the unique times while the theatre "came back" after he was involved with protecting the theatre assets during WWII.

    To imagine his career of a lifetime, which has given so much to our community ... Craig Noel clearly made a difference in San Diego!!!

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  68. If there is a repertory in heaven, Craig Noel will be the artistic director. I feel very fortunate for having known Craig over many years and having had the opportunity to work with him on "The Pavillion" when he was at least 86 years young. Still acted like a teenager! We will all miss your spirit and grace. Mark Moses

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  69. "To absent friends..." Noel Coward, Private Lives.

    Thank you Craig for everything.

    Jenifer

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  70. So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
    Or as sweet-season'd showers are to the ground;
    "And for the peace of you I hold such strife
    As 'twixt a miser and his wealth is found" -
    Shakespeareean Sonnet 75

    Thank you Craig for your presence, your passion for life and performance, your smile, your tenderness.

    There will never be another Craig Noel on this planet - you will be missed beyond, beyond.

    I toast and salute your life!

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  71. Craig Noel (along with Jack O'Brien, Ellis Rabb, and Marian Mercer) showed me, that you love your work passionately and work very, very hard, and balance your dedication with merry laughter and respect for fellow artists. It was a privilege to play Emily to his Stage Manager.

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