Today in NC State History: Thespian brings down ‘house’ in Stewart

February 1, 2015
By Chris Saunders

historyIconSome may remember John Houseman and his distinguished acting career from his founding of the Mercury Theatre in New York City with Orson Welles in the 1930s. Others may identify him with the Julliard School in New York, where he was founder and theater administrator in the 1960s and ’70s.

There is, of course, the Best Supporting Actor Oscar he won in 1974 for his supporting role in The Paper Chase. And who can forget his time in the 1980s on the sitcom Silver Spoons, playing the grandfather of Ricky Schroder’s character?

But on this day 40 years ago, he was in NC State’s Stewart Theatre attending the premiere of his City Center Acting Company’s production of She Stoops to Conquer.

Famed actor John Houseman.

Famed actor John Houseman.

The company was on campus for a week in residence. Their performance of the Oliver Goldsmith work was the first premiere it had done outside of New York, according to the Technician.

“I have seen this company in workshop, lecture-demonstration and performance in New York and I think they are one of the strongest and most highly trained repertory companies in the country,” said Maggie Klekas, director of Stewart Theatre in 1975. “I consider this week to be one of the high points since the theatre opened and we are particularly pleased to have this company in residence.”

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