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.
His wife, Beulah; two sisters, Muriel Hodge and Helen Hodge Hofer; and daughter Betsy Flack, her husband Jim Flack and their two sons survive him.
William Powers Jr., President
The University of Texas at Austin
Sue Alexander Greninger, Secretary
The General Faculty
This memorial resolution was prepared by a special committee consisting of Professors David Nancarrow (chair), Coleman A. Jennings, and Richard Isackes.