Daily Dojo

In Remembrance …

It was with great sadness that I heard the news that Theatre professor Mark Hunter has passed away.

I knew Mark, we were at grad school at Iowa at the same time and shared many classes together, I acted in plays and scenes he directed, among other things. Mark was one of the people there supportive of my decision to give writing a go … I did not know him as well as others of that time and we’d lost touch over the years, but in the short time I did know him, he made a distinct and lasting impression.

Though he was a grad student at that time, he’d come there with a much more worldly view than most of us (especially me) … he’d been a professional child actor (on Broadway) and later became a lawyer. He left the field of law eventually to move to Iowa to study and later, teach and direct theatre, which anyone who ever knew and worked with him could tell he clearly loved.

You could ask him about anything, and he knew a little something about it, and was wise and compassionate toward all of us, inviting everyone to his home to meet his family, giving sound advice to anyone who needed it … he was also up for any project … he once acted with me in a short stage combat scene done for a lighting class, and it was a fun. And he gave me feedback on work I’d written, work that was obviously the scrawlings of a beginner with no idea how to spell or construct a sentence, that was supportive and insightful.

It was a pivotal time of life for me, and I’ll remember it for a long time.

My most singular memory of Mark, however, has to do with basketball. Yeah, basketball. Once, while waiting for stage combat class to start in gym, one of us picked up a ball and the whole class started to play … only a couple, myself and DB Woodside, had obviously played before … rather, the two of us and Mark, who … even though he was a couple decades older and several inches shorter than both of us, took the ball, spun and drove to the hoop multiple times right at us … much to the delight of our classmates, who cheered.

It seemed he could do everything.

My heartfelt condolences to his friends and family for their loss.

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