Edward Medina | Gentle wild enthusiast
Edward Medina died Wednesday evening April 28 following complications from heart transplant surgery in Fall 2020.
Despite having a career that defies easy summary, several long term colleagues attempted to try. One of his outlets, Theater Pizzazz, captured him in this way: “The very definition of a Renaissance Man, Medina was a writer, director, actor, producer, businessman and erstwhile Disney World Railroad engineer, as well as producer for the Jim Henson Company. He was a voting member of The Drama Desk, executive committee member with the American Theater Critics Association, and member of Theater Resources Unlimited and the Manhattan Association of Cabarets.”
Our ATCA colleague David John Chávez published a lovely “In Memoriam” essay in American Theatre magazine on Edward. Chávez wrote: “Often toggling between a Lion King ball cap and a black fedora that rested upon his head, Ed lived his life in only the biggest of ways. He was a passionate soul who engaged with writing of many genres. A man about town who was a fixture in midtown theatre lobbies. Walt Disney World train engineer, Jim Henson employee, author, critic, director, producer, filmmaker—you name it, he did it. He loved his friends, the theatre, and his city. And wolves—Ed loved wolves, often using his Facebook timeline to implore his friends to donate to wolf conservation causes.”
ATCA executive committee chair Martha Wade Steketee offered some reflections to Chávez for his essay, many of which made their way into print. “Edward Medina was a gentle wild enthusiast. I’ve known him during his embrace of a new phase of his already multi-layered career — writing about live performance and theater — during my time as a chair of the American Theatre Critics Association and nominating committee chair of the Drama Desk Awards in New York City.,” she wrote to Chávez. “And theater writing was only part of the story for him — he wanted to join with his peers to assess, celebrate, vote on, and build a new theater journalism for the future.”
ATCA has been lucky to have Medina’s warmth and passion on board on several committees — Membership and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion — as well as his executive committee leadership for a year. There was so much more of his life in theater and his life in ATCA yet to come.
Steketee reflected on Medina’s calm and clarity on some hard questions and issues the executive committee tackled over the past few months. “Ed was a charming multi-hyphenate with many chapters to his career and life, all of which informed the relatively young man he was and is in my mind. I miss him.”
More news on any memorials or commemorations will be posted here as they are received.