Craig Noel: 1915-2010

Article excerpt

THERE ARE GIANTS in the sky," counsels Stephen Sondheim. On earth, sometimes, too.

And occasionally the earth shrugs and even the giants disappear. One such man, the ineffable Craig Noel, after a lifetime of service to the art of the theatre, and to the Old Globe in San Diego in particular, slipped from us over the Easter weekend just past.

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Centered in San Diego since the inception of the Globe in 1937, and having arrived during the California Exposition of 1935 when itinerant actors first gathered to perform in Balboa Park, Noel directed hundreds of productions, launched and guided major careers (like those of Marion Ross, Victor Buono, Beah Richards and Dennis Hopper), and throughout his extensive career personally welcomed and nourished more creative directors, designers and actors than most entire institutions have done.

Except for World War II, when Balboa Park was conscripted as a medical center for the Armed Forces, Noel guided the entire creative output of the Globe until he invited me to join him as artistic director in 1982. …