Terry Teachout, who adorned these pages as our drama critic and culture columnist for nearly 20 years, passed away early Thursday at the age of 65.
An art connoisseur with broad erudition, Terry has been writing reviews and other pieces for our books and art pages since 1987. He took on the role of reviewer. weekly stage with excitement in March 2003, and he did evaluate a favorite destination of readers as the weekend approaches.
His prose is lively and accessible, and in his judgments he is discerning, unconcerned with conventional wisdom, and committed to judging each work on its merits. . He believes in maintaining standards of quality and artistic execution, regardless of the times.
Terry made a special mark by exploring American theater off Broadway. He was a tireless champion of the regional stage, commenting on more productions than any other critic. The magazine was a national newspaper, and Terry told readers about actors and producers worth celebrating and watching across the country.
Terry is an artist in his own right, a playwright and opera scriptwriter. He wrote biographies of H. L. Mencken, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington, and his one-act play about Armstrong was shown at an off-Broadway theater to good reviews.
Terry likes the pace and randomness of daily journalism. The reader saw his gift for that work most recently in His obituary appreciated for composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. He turned the gift elegantly within an hour of learning of Sondheim’s death, as have many others over the years.
In 2014, the Bradley Foundation presented Terry with one of the Bradley Awards, a rare winner in the arts. “Terry Teachout has distinguished himself, not only as a first-rate journalist, but also as an advocate for the arts,” said Michael W. Grebe, president of the Bradley Foundation. “His work as a biographer and playwright was crucial to developing and preserving the artistic and cultural traditions of the United States.”
In his remarks, Terry spoke of the importance of resisting the temptation to view art, and artistic endeavors, as a political exercise. Especially in these polarizing times, his cheerful, civilized and civilized voice will be missed.
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Appears in print January 14, 2022.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/terry-teachout-11642111768 Terry Teachout – WSJ