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Obituary: Charles “Chuck” Vicinus ’54

Charles "Chuck" Vicinus, Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University of Toledo, died unexpectedly on September 30, 2010, at his summer home in Holderness, New Hampshire. He was 80 years old.

His long tenure in the Theatre Department began in 1978. He was one of the originators and director of the department's SummerStage program, a summer season of popular productions mixing professional and student actors. During his time at UT he served as chairman for six years, held administrative positions with the American College Theatre Festival and the Ohio Theatre Alliance, and served on the Board of the Toledo Repertoire Theatre. He was one of the founders of the Performing Arts Council of TOttawa Hillsoledo (P.A.C.T.) and under its umbrella was co-artistic director, from 1994 to 2002 of the downtown celebration of New Year's Eve called FIRST NIGHT TOLEDO.

Prior to coming to Toledo, he taught at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Throughout his teaching years, his passion was his students. He was happy in the classroom, and loved to direct, mentor and coach. He remained a devoted and good friend to many former students.

After retirement, Chuck continued his active involvement in the world of the arts. For three years he was executive director of the Toledo Ballet, and he continued to direct, with productions at the Rep, at the newly renovated Valentine, and at Mrs. Rose's Dinner Theatre.

He was founder and producer of EdgyRepReadings for the Toledo Rep, tackling challenging scripts at a variety of downtown venues. For the past three years he taught at Plymouth State University near his home in New Hampshire. His final production was a reading of an original script at the Little Church Theatre in Holderness. He was proud of the fact that he had directed 198 plays and was working towards 200 when he died.

Chuck grew up in Rochester, NY, graduated with a B.A. from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH and an M.F.A. from Yale University. He is survived by Joan, his wife of 49 years, and his two children: his daughter, Julie Fowler of New York, NY and his son, Adam Vicinus of Hampton, NH and 5 grandchildren. He is also survived by a brother, Richard Vicinus and a sister, Ann Stothard, both of Rochester NY.

There will be a Memorial Gathering for Chuck at the UT Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, November 6, 4-6:00 p.m. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Theatre Alumni Scholarship, c/o UT Foundation, MS319, 2801 W. Bancroft, Toledo, OH 43606, or to the Endowment Fund for Stewardship, Squam Lakes Conservation Society, Box 696, Holderness, NH 03245.