Brubaker's great laugh, his sense of past will be oft-missed

Brubaker's great laugh, his sense of past will be oft-missed

Edward Brubaker, a former Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor, stage manager and director, died Wednesday in Ashland. He was 84.

Brubaker worked with OSF from 1955 to 1970, during which time he played 23 roles, stage managed 10 productions and directed six productions.

Mourners filled Trinity Episcopal Church on Monday afternoon during Brubaker's memorial service.

The Shakespeare scholar was very involved with the church, where he often led Bible studies.

OSF's executive director, Paul Nicholson, attended the memorial service, where many people recalled Brubaker's hearty laugh, he said.

"He found humor in a great many things, and he shared that," Nicholson said Tuesday.

"He had this wonderful breathy laugh that came up from the soles of his feet all the way through the depths of his body."

Brubaker probably is best remembered for his performances as Caliban in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" in 1960 and 1969, according to the festival.

Because he was involved with OSF for almost four decades, Brubaker helped form a link between the festival's past and present, Nicholson said.

"He was one of those who was able to tell stories of the early days," he said. "When we lose somebody, we lose an important connection."

Before he moved to Ashland permanently, Brubaker was an English and drama professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.

Two of his students, Hugh Evans and William Bloodgood, later became OSF company members, according to the festival.

After he retired from acting and theater management, Brubaker continued to be involved with OSF.

In 1980, he was named the director of the Institute of Renaissance Studies, a position he held until 1988, when Joan Langley was appointed. Brubaker also taught OSF's Wake Up with Shakespeare educational classes.

The Shakespeare professor wrote several books about acting and the Bard. In 1985, he and his wife, Mary, co-wrote the festival's 50th anniversary book, "Golden Fire." He also is the author of "Shakespeare Aloud, a Guide to his Verse on Stage," and "Shakespeare: a Life in Seven Chapters."

Brubaker is survived by Mary and his daughter, Jenny Black.

Hannah Guzik is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. She can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 226, or

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