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Francis R. Hodge

Francis R. Hodge

Male 1915 - 2008  (92 years)

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  • Name Francis R. Hodge 
    Nickname Fran 
    Born 17 Dec 1915  Geneva NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 6 Apr 2008  Austin TX Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Age 92 years 
    Notes 
    • OBITUARY
      Francis R. Hodge
      December 17, 1915 - April 6, 2008

      Francis R. Hodge, 92, died at home in Austin, Texas, on April 6. Dr. Hodge was a Professor Emeritus of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin. He was both feared and loved by his undergraduate and graduate students as an exceptional and dedicated director and teacher, with an eye to the intricacy of human emotion and experience. During his tenure at the University and summers at other institutions, he directed over 55 plays by such playwrights as George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, and Eugene Ionesco.

      In selecting plays, he "always tried to pick plays that matter" plays of conscience, morality, and human fragility fraught with irony and humor. Along with his colleagues in the drama department set designer John R. Rothgeb, costumer Lucy Barton, and lighting designer David Nancarrow, among many others, he tuned the craft of stage production to a fine art. Later in his career he chose to concentrate his efforts on the work of his graduate students and oversaw the production of 150 student-directed plays. As a classroom teacher he taught acting and directing at both undergraduate and graduate levels, History of the Theatre, Dramatic Literature, Theatre Research, and Technical Theater. His students are dispersed to theatres around the world.

      He is the author of Yankee Theatre: The Image of America on the Stage, 1825-1850; six editions from 1971 - 2005 of a text entitled Play Directing: Analysis, Communication and Style; and a travel memoir, From America to Elsewhere. He wrote numerous articles for educational theatre journals, and served as editor for the American Theatre Journal. He participated on many faculty committees; and with great joy spent five years on Coach Darryl Royal's Athletic Council for the University of Texas football team.

      During the last years of his professional life, he worked on a book about theatre audiences entitled The American Theatre Unbound. It contains a long chapter on the theatrical nature of spectator sports. In 1972 he was elected Fellow of the American Theatre Association, and is included in Who's Who of the American Theatre. In 2006 he received the E. William Doty Award, which is granted annually to individuals who have distinguished themselves professionally and who have demonstrated extraordinary interest in the College of Fine Arts of the University of Texas.

      As a true Renaissance man, he sketched his way through years of travel throughout the world, leaving behind 50 small books filled with insightful drawings. He was trained as an airplane mechanic during his three years of service in the US Army Air Force and continued to repair things throughout the rest of his life - literally stitching or wiring them together rather than replacing them. His early Eagle Scout experience made him an avid camper and he and his family explored most of the National Parks during their VW bus years. He played the piano and accordion by ear.

      Francis Hodge was born in Geneva, New York, and was educated at Hobart College in Geneva. He obtained his PhD in theatre at Cornell University. His two sisters, librarian Muriel Hodge, 98, and math teacher Helen Hodge Hofer, 94, live in Pittsford, New York. He taught at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and at the University of Iowa, before coming to Austin in 1949.

      His wife of 65 years, Beulah Wiley Hodge, holds degrees in theatre and was his most attentive supporter and critic. Her own work in educational television is still remembered by her many Central Texas fans, who watched hours of her show "People and Ideas: Conversations with Beulah Hodge". The pair retired to Austin's Westminster Manor in 2003 where Beulah continues to reside. Their only child, Betsy Hodge Flack, is a landscape architect and lives in San Francisco with her husband Jim Flack. Their two sons, Andrew Flack and Bardin Flack live in San Francisco and Kona, Hawaii, respectively. The neighbors on Bluebonnet Lane in South Austin where Beulah and Fran lived for over 50 years have continued to show their love and support. Phyllis Rothgeb Schenkkan as friend and "other daughter" has been irreplaceable.

      Contributions may be made to the Francis Hodge scholarship fund through the Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-5301. A gathering of friends and family will take place in the Chapel at Westminster Manor, 4100 Jackson Ave, on April 14 at 3:30 pm. Obituary and guestbook online at wcfish.com

    • OBITUARY University of Texas at Austin

      Dr. Francis R. Hodge passed away on April 6, 2008 in Austin, Texas, at the age of 92. Hodge was a professor emeritus in The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance and served as professor of directing from 1949-1979. He was presented the College of Fine Arts E. William Doty Award at the college's spring commencement in May 2006. The award was established in 1995 and is the College's uppermost recognition given to individuals of distinction in their fields and/or have demonstrated extraordinary interest in the college.

      Among his many scholarly contributions, Hodge supervised more than 100 master's thesis productions and contributed in an editorial capacity to the Educational Theatre Journal and the Journal of Speech. He is also the founder of the American Society for Theatre Research, an organization for theatre scholars that promotes theatre as a field of serious scholarly study and research. Hodge was also a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre Association. His published works include: Play Directing: Analysis, Communication and Style, Innovations in Stage and Theatre Design and Yankee Theatre: The Image of America on the Stage, 1825-1850, the latter for which he received the Golden Anniversary Book Award from the National Communication Association.

      Hodge received his bachelor's degree in English and history from Hobart College, and his master's and doctoral degree in theatre and drama from Cornell University. While teaching at The University of Texas, Hodge developed the Demonstration Laboratory. The "Dem" Lab was a weekly meeting open to all Theatre and Dance students that encouraged students to present new works to each other. The lab was very popular, but ended after Dr. Hodge retired, due primarily to lack of space for the volume of students who attended each week. In 1984, the Francis Hodge Endowed Scholarship in Drama supporting outstanding directing majors was created in his honor.

    • FRANCIS HODGE COLLECTION
      University of Texas Libraries - Fine Arts Library Archival Collections

      About the Collection

      NOTE this collection has not been fully housed and cataloged (7/2016)

      For further information regarding this collection, please contact the Humanities Liaison Librarian for Performing Arts, Corinne Forstot-Burke at cfburke@austin.utexas.edu or +1 512 495 4482.

      Biography

      Francis R. Hodge was born in Geneva, New York, in December 17, 1915. He earned degrees from Hobart College and Cornell University. He was a member of the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin from 1949 until he retired in 1979 as professor emeritus. Prior to coming to the University he taught at Carroll College, Cornell University, and the University of Iowa. He served in the United States Army Air Force from 1942 until his discharge in 1945 at the rank of staff sergeant.

      During his 30-year career in the Department of Drama (now the Department of Theatre and Dance), he taught classes in every aspect of theatre activity, but his primary interests were in theatre history and directing. He directed more than 55 plays. He was especially known for his interpretations of the works of Lope de Vega, Marlowe, Farquhar, Ibsen, O?Casey, Anouilh, Bertolt Brecht, Eugene Ionesco, and George Bernard Shaw. As the producer/supervisor of the MFA program in directing he supervised more than 100 master?s candidates through their departmental careers as each directed, first an original student written one act play, and then, a fully produced production of a full-length play. As a mentor he was without peer; he challenged his students and gave unstintingly of his experience, energy, and talents to those who had the good fortune to study with him.

      He was a guest professor at the University of Colorado, the University of British Columbia, and the Banff School of Fine Arts at the University of Alberta over the course of several summers. Hodge wrote extensively for scholarly journals in his field. He served as the editor of the Educational Theatre Journal (1966-68) and was theatre editor for the Quarterly Journal of Speech (1959 1962). He was on the executive boards of both the American Society for Theatre Research and the Theatre Library Association. He is the author of Yankee Theatre (University of Texas Press, 1965) and Play Directing: Analysis, Communication, and Style (Prentice-Hall, 1971). This book has become the seminal text for the teaching of directing technique throughout the United States. In 1972, he was named a Fellow of the American Theatre Association in recognition of his leadership and contributions to educational theatre.

      Citation: Nancarrow, D., Jennings, C., and Isackes, R. "In Memoriam: Francis Hodge." Memorial Resolution published by the Faculty Council of the University of Texas at Austin. 13 Aug. 2008.

    • Alumni Publications
      B.A., William Smith College, 1939
      FRANCIS R. HODGE

      Author of:
      Play Directing: Analysis, Communication and Style
      Prentice Hall PTR, 1994

      Yankee Theatre: The Image of America on the Stage
      Ayer Company Publications, 1969

      Co-author of:
      Dramatic Life As I Found It
      Ayer Company Publication; Reprint edition, 1966
    Person ID I233  Flack Genealogy
    Last Modified 24 Nov 2019 

    Family Beulah Bernice Wiley,   b. 29 Aug 1919, Galesville WS Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Nov 2009, Austin TX Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 1942 
    Children 
    +1. Elizabeth Hodge
    Last Modified 23 Nov 2019 
    Family ID F93  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 17 Dec 1915 - Geneva NY Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 6 Apr 2008 - Austin TX Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Fran Hodge
    Fran Hodge
    Fran Hodge
    Fran Hodge
    Fran and Beulah Hodge
    Fran and Beulah Hodge

    Documents
    Celebrating the Life and Career of Francis R. Hodge
A Retrospective Weekend at the University of Texas, Austin: 11/15-11/17/19
    Celebrating the Life and Career of Francis R. Hodge A Retrospective Weekend at the University of Texas, Austin: 11/15-11/17/19
    Program of events held by the Theater Department attended by 100 former students and colleagues