It is with great sadness that I report, via Larry Stark's Theater Mirror website, that fellow critic Will Stackman died at his home last night. Although Will and I often did not see eye to eye, I recognized that he was a true critic's critic - smart, scrappy and independent (perhaps even ornery) who dedicated himself to seeing as much theater as he possibly could (only other critics can appreciate how daunting this is over the long haul). Puppetry and lighting were special interests of Will's (I remember he once jumped all over me because in my praise of the Wimberley Theatre I had overlooked what he felt was a disappointing light grid), but he was truly erudite in all aspects of the theater, and his erudition informed a refreshingly unpredictable point of view.
An early web publisher, Will maintained at least two sites that I knew of, and contributed regularly to more. I'll simply quote the last few lines of his "And then I saw . . ." blog, because they seem to me to express so simply his dedication to the art he loved:
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
No reviews today. Seeing Present Laughter at HTC tomorrow. Rest of the week--who knows.
- will, 5:02 PM
Saturday, May 26, 2007
No new reviews, Not planning to see anyhting this weeked.
- will, 4:46 PM
Monday, May 28, 2007
No Memorial Days weekend surprizes. PR for PIAZZA. May try to see.
- will, 5:07 PM
I find that final "May try to see" heartbreaking. Will passed on just a few days later.