February 22, 2012

VALE – IANTHE TAYLOR, Widow of Fortune Theatre Artistic Director, Anthony (Tony) Taylor 

The death has occurred of Ianthe Taylor, widow of 1984-5 Fortune Theatre Artistic Director, Anthony (Tony)Taylor(1937–2009).*

In those years the Fortune’s role as a provider of drama teaching, youth theatre and theatre-in-education was at its height, with classes for students from primary school right through to tertiary level. Ianthe Taylor was in charge of these.

A trained primary school teacher, in 1985 she was appointed as Education Officer for the Fortune and in this capacity supervised a theatre-in-education troupe which toured Otago/Southland primary and secondary schools. For them she directed productions of Schoolyard Games (John Lazarus, New Zealand premiere) and The Only Good Indian is a Dead Indian (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, TIE Company).

In 1984 she directed the Fortune Youth Theatre production of The Matchgirls (Bill Owen) on the mainstage and the following year contributed a mainstage production of The Adventures of Awful Knawful (Peter Flannery and Mick Ford,New Zealand premiere) to the six week long Festival of Youth Theatre staged at the Fortune.

In 1985 she also directed in the studio A Place on Earth (Betty-Jane Wylie,New Zealand premiere), a one woman play featuring well-known local actress, Shirley Kelly.

Ianthe’s sons, Simon and Dominic, survive her. Simon appeared for the Fortune in his father’s production of Chinchilla and Dominic was in The Adventures of Awful Knawful.

Her funeral was held yesterday (21 Feb) at Kaukapakapa.  The NZ Herald funeral notice is here.

*Previously Tony was Artistic Director of Downstage from 1977-82. 

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