The Society for Strang Studies
founded in 2000 to facilitate research into the life and accomplishment of James Jesse Strang

   

 
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The Society for Strang Studies
Chair - Bill Olson, Vice Chair - Vickie Speek,
Treasurer - Constance Cappel

Issue No. 20
January 7, 2006


It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of John Baldwin. John was an active member of the Strang Gang and was serving as Secretary of SSS.
in memoriam:

Baldwin Jr., John James Ph.D East Lansing, MI Age 74, died December 27, 2005; born May 11, 1931 in Royal Oak, MI to John and Pearl Baldwin. He graduated from Royal Oak High in 1949 where he began his life long joy in the Theatre and Music. He received a BA in Theatre and Drama from Albion College, in Albion, MI in 1953 and joined the US Navy. While stationed on Kodiak Island, Alaska during the Korean War as a Lieutenant he founded the Kodiactors. He went on to get an MA in Theatre Arts from UCLA, taught theatre at Manchester College in Indiana, then began his Ph.D at Iowa State University which he completed at MSU where he joined the Department in 1964. He served variously as Business Manager of the theatre, Director of Youth Theater, Senior Staff Play Director and Chairman of the Department as well as teaching courses in Theatre Arts. During this period he directed 31 plays, musicals and operas for University and community audiences. Also during this time he was technical advisor to the Opera Company of Greater Lansing and participated in the staging of many of their operas. Dr. Baldwin was also a published playwright. His Metrics Can Be Fun! as well as his adaptations of Pinocchio and Heidi have been produced throughout the United States. He wrote some 30 plays and musicals for young audiences and performed them at MSU as well as on tour for over one million children in the Michigan Area. His Metrics Can Be Fun! was performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 1977. He produced this show for the United States Department of Commerce and performed it at the University of Chicago, Southern Methodist University and again in the Washington, D.C. area as part of their Metric-America program. Professionally Dr. Baldwin worked as Publicity Director and then Stage Manager of the Will-O-Way Playhouse in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He was founder and co-owner of the Enchanted Hills Playhouse in Syracuse, Indiana. He also performed professionally at the Boarshead Theatre in Lansing. He was past president of the Michigan Alliance for Arts Education, the Michigan Theatre Association, a member of the Arts Advisory Committee to the Michigan State Board of Education, a member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre, a Board Member of the MSU Summer Circle. At the time of his death he was serving as a board member of the River Walk Theatre in Lansing. His Masterpiece was a drama entitled, Strang! King of all the Nation, which is how he became a founding member of the Strang Gang on Beaver Island, MI. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kay Patricia Baldwin; sons, John James (Carol) Baldwin III and Robert Rennie (Marlena) Baldwin; and granddaughters, Kenzie, Haley and Tyler Baldwin. Funeral services held Saturday, December 31, 10:30 a.m. at the Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 E. Grand River Avenue, East Lansing with the Rev. S. J. Stilwell, officiating and Frank Rutledtge and Jon Baisch as Eulogists. Interment in Oakview Cemetery, Oakland, MI.

Last Call
Vickie Speek (vickie_speekyahoo.com) would appreciate it if you would contact her by January 31 if you would like to present a paper on Strang at our June Conference.

Please help our conference committee
In Issue No. 19 I requested that all those receiving the newsletter let me know if they plan to attend, may attend or will not attend the conference in June. Of the 44 who receive this newsletter 24 responded. Please let me hear from you if you are one of those who forgot. Thank you.
Bill Olson wolsonitol.com

 

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