Tales from the Vault: Robert Loper

Posted on Oct 4th, 2012 in OSF Archives

In mid-July I opened an envelope sent from Seattle containing an obituary for Robert (Bob) Loper who had died suddenly the week before. I met Bob in 1987 while here to direct The Member of the Wedding. I clearly remembered him, and was aware of his long association with us.

Soon after, Richard Hay asked me for a list of credits for the memorial service. Also, Bob’s son Matt was to take a trip to Colorado and Ashland gathering memorabilia since the family had little.

In addition to playing Macbeth, Hector and Prospero, Bob directed 14 plays at OSF including Oedipus the King and the 1981 production of Death of a Salesman, which are still fondly recalled. Further, in 1960 he served as Acting Producing Director while Angus was traveling in Europe.

In addition to OSF credits spanning four decades, Bob directed, acted and taught at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Stanford University, and the University of Washington Professional Theatre Training Program.

Matt appeared at the Archives on a Friday morning and stayed all day. He only intended to look for reviews and photographs, but in rummaging through the old scrapbooks he found many more references to his Dad than he ever expected.

This day was gratifying for me too: helping a son relive fond memories and encounter new surprises in a time of transition. I felt privileged to help and happy that the archival material was here, at the source, rather than in a library far from the triumphs of this life in the theatre.

Written originally for
The Company Call, September/October 2000, by Kit Leary.