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Maurice McClelland (1940 - September 19, 1993)

Maurice McClelland was a producer and champion of New York's experimental stage, music, dance, and TV groups. In his last years devoted himself to the fight against AIDS. He died on September 19, 1993, at his home in Jersey City. He was 53.

The cause was AIDS, a spokeswoman for the family said.

Mr. McClelland founded the Space for Innovative Development in the 1960's to provide low-cost practice space for fledgling theater, music, dance and television groups in Manhattan. They included the Open Theater, the Alwin Nikolais Dance Theater and Robert Wilson's first theater company. It was supported by foundation money and lasted five years under Mr. McClelland's direction.

In the 1970's he was associate director of the International Theater Institute in Manhattan, an affiliate of Unesco.

In 1973, he became founding director of the International Visual Theater Research Community, with headquarters in Paris, which was financed by six countries to train the deaf and hearing-impaired to be performing artists.

In 1978, he was director of the Energy Resource Bank in Seattle, which produced original plays commissioned by the city and state. From 1981 to 1983, he was also production manager at the Anchorage Civic Opera and a professor of theater at both Alaska Pacific University and at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colo. He was also associated with La Mama Theater.

In the 1980's he devoted himself to fighting the spread of AIDS and became deputy administrator of Bailey House in Manhattan, a residence for homeless people with AIDS.

He spent the last five years of his life in Jersey City helping convert the Barrow Mansion into a center for AIDS and addiction services. A recovering drug addict, he often rode his bicycle around Jersey City, on the lookout for drug abusers. He sought to encourage them to change their lives.

During the last 10 weeks of his life, a network of 18 friends, some of whom came from Alaska, took over his care. "None of us regarded this as a burden," said Ann Arlen, one of those who helped look after him. "We felt a joy in helping."

He and his wife, Ida Samko of Burbank, Calif., were separated. He is survived by her; a daughter, Halimah McClelland of Los Angeles, and a son, Lucas, of New Orleans.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/09/22/obituaries/m-mcclelland-53-helped-experiments-in-theater-and-arts.html

Further Readings:

International visual theatre research community by Maurice McClelland
Publisher: International Theatre Institute (1976)
Language: English
ASIN: B0007BH7EE
Amazon: International visual theatre research community

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Tags: gay classics, producer: maurice mcclelland
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