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First black regional theater director dies

Aug. 2, 2006 at 6:14 PM   |   Comments

NEWARK, N.J., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Black actor and producer, Harold Scott, who directed plays at Seattle Repertory, Washington's Arena Stage and on Broadway, died in Newark, N.J., at age 70.

Scott died July 16 at his home of natural causes, Paper Mill Playhouse production manager Doug Hosney said.

He was born on Sept. 6, 1935 in Morristown, N.J., and studied at Philips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, the New York Times reported.

Scott started acting off Broadway, performing in "The Blacks" by Jean Genet and then "Death of Bessie" by Edward Albee, winning a 1959 Obie for his role in "Deathwatch" by Genet.

In 1964, he joined the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center when Elia Kazan and Robert Whitehead were directors, but new creative heads eliminated him from the ensemble. Scott advocated for a "totally integrated theater" where blacks were fully represented.

Frustrated by a lack of opportunity in acting, Scott began directing at regional theaters and on Broadway. He served as artistic director for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park from 1972 to 1974.

He also headed the directing program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University for almost 20 years.

Scott had no family survivors.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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