Member Milestones | Kuchwara Fark Hook
Michael Kuchwara, since 1984 drama critic for the AP and thus the most widely disseminated in the U.S., died May 22, age 63. He was an even-handed, well-informed, enthusiastic critic who did the profession proud. Only a sporadic member of ATCA, he was always available to discuss issues of importance. Click here for his AP obituary.
Bill Fark, known to many in ATCA from his frequent participation in our conferences, died April 18, age 91. He was unfailingly interested in everything theatrical, a kindly, courteous man with a ready laugh, distinctive in his colorful garb, western jewelry and striking white pony tail. From Escondido, Cal., he covered the arts scene in San Diego county, mainly for the North County Times, from 1967 until he retired in 2005. But he had had many jobs, including military archivist, playwright, theater director, choreographer, hairstylist and actor, and a varied education to match, beginning in his native Indiana, which he left to join a traveling tent show at age 16. Said former ATCA chair Welton Jones, Bill was “a sweet soul who delighted in being surprised and amazed. He represented his paper, his readers and his country in solid, admirable fashion, never citing his illustrious past. He should be remembered as a keeper of the flame.” ATCA sends commiserations to his widow, Lucy. Click here for Pam Kragen’s fine obituary on an extraordinary man.
Patricia Shipley Hook, 77, of Annapolis, an educator, puppeteer, actor and for 20 years a freelance theater and music critic, died Jan. 25 of Parkinson’s Disease at a hospice in Harwood, MD. One of the best tributes came from the Goodman Theatre’s Denise Schneider, who knew Pat from her time at Arena Stage: “Her wide, caring eyes and gentle nature were distinctly and uniquely Pat. She so loved the theater and we so loved her being there. I could always count on her reviews, regardless of whether she actually liked the production, to be thoughtful, well-written and encouraging.” In honor of her late son, Pat created the Evan Shipley Hook Fund within Foundation ATCA. The fund fosters and encourages new critics to pursue education in theatre and criticism and has been used to subsidize those at the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. The family suggests that ATCA members’ contributions in her memory be made to that fund. A full obituary ran in the Feb. 1, 2010 Baltimore Sun. Thanks to Mary Johnson for her contribution to this sad news. Click here and scroll down for more memories from ATCA members.