Alan Wade, head of the drama department at George Washington University, was incorrectly identified in a Style remembrance of Leo Brady.
The death of Leo Brady last week brought to mind the extraordinary influence a teacher can have. For 38 years Brady taught directing and play writing at Catholic University, one of the team of teachers that brought the drama department to prominence as a training ground for theater professionals.
"He was a neat mix of a man -- literary yet practical, a university professional who gave a great deal of his mind and his humor," said Richard Bauer, a mainstay of Arena Stage's resident company and an alumnus of CU's graduate program. "And there was a kind of propriety about him that was wonderful . . . The first year you wouldn't call him anything but Mr. Brady. After that you could dare to address him as Leo."
Some of his former students are acting professionally, such as Bauer and his wife and colleague Halo Wines and fellow company member Mark Hammer, or writing, such as Jason Miller, John Pielmeier, Mart Crowley, Joseph Walker and Michael Cristofer. Some of them are running other drama departments, such as Alan Wade at Georgetown University and Roger Meersman at the University of Maryland. Don Murphy, another former student, is president of the National Theatre.
Brady published several novels and saw the production of plays he wrote, and he directed more than 50 plays at Olney Theatre, the last being "Misalliance" in the summer of 1983. Students remember his wit and discipline, and his understanding of what made things work on stage.
"I remember once he handed back a paper of mine and he'd given me a B-minus or a C," Bauer recalled. "He'd written on it, 'Wonderful conversation but doesn't meet any standards. But I enjoyed it immensely.' That was typical of him."
No plans for a memorial service have been announced, but donations can be made in the name of Leo Brady to the Players' Scholarship Fund, c/o the Drama Department at Catholic University.