Cassie Gholston, Director of Marketing,
(512) 232-5301

In Memoriam: Dr. Francis Hodge, Professor Emeritus

Austin, Tx–– 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 1949–79. 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.

He is survived by his wife, Beulah, of 65 years, as well as two sisters, Muriel Hodge, 98, and Helen Hodge Hofer, 94, and daughter Betsy Hodge Flack, her husband Jim Flack and their two sonsHodge 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.

Dr. Francis Hodge, 1959

A gathering of friends to honor Dr. Hodge is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14 at Westminster Manor Chapel in Austin, Texas. An informal reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial contributions be made to the University of Texas Department of Theatre and Dance Francis Hodge Endowed Scholarship in Drama.

Contributions may be mailed to:
The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts
ATTN: Dr. Francis Hodge Endowed Scholarship
1 University Station D1400
Austin, Texas 78712–0340

For more information, please contact Cassie Gholston at (512) 232–5301 or gholston@austin.utexas.edu or Sondra Lomax at (512) 471–6468 or lomax@austin.utexas.edu.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

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