Swortzell, Lowell (Stanley) 1930-2004

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SWORTZELL, Lowell (Stanley) 1930-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 5, 1930, in Washington, DC; died of complications from a stroke, August 9, 2004, in New York, NY. Educator and author. Swortzell cofounded the Steinhardt School of Education and founded the educational theater program at New York University, as well as being a playwright in his own right. After earning his master's degree from George Washington University in 1953, he served in the U.S. Army for two years, later returning to school to complete a Ph.D. from New York University in 1963. His career began in 1958, when he was assistant in playwriting and theater history at Yale University. He then taught speech and drama at Tufts University for a year before joining the New York University faculty in 1960 as an assistant professor of dramatic art. Except for a year spent teaching at the University of Wisconsin at Madison from 1965 to 1966, Swortzell remained at NYU for the rest of his career, becoming a full professor of educational theatre in 1970. Not only a teacher of theater, Swortzell was an accomplished playwright himself, and he earned the New York Times' Outstanding Book of the Year for editing All the World's a Stage: Modern Plays for Young People (1972). After retiring from teaching, he helped reopen the aging Provincetown Playhouse in 1998, directing his "New Plays for Young Audiences" series there. Along with his plays—many of them one-acts—such as The Arabian Nights (1978) and The Little Humpback Horse (1984), Swortzell published a number of books, including Here Come the Clowns: A Cavalcade of Comedy from Antiquity to the Present (1978) and International Guide to Children's Theatre and Educational Theatre: A Historical and Geographical Source Book (1990). For his long service to education in the theater, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Children's Theatre Foundation in 2003 and the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 2004 from the Steinhardt School.



New York Times, August 12, 2004, p. C14.


New York University Steinhardt School of Education, http://www.nyu.edu/education/steinhardt/ (August 9, 2004).