No one seems to object to the transcriptions and posting of AK’s comments which are at I’m putting comments and analysis on a separate blog, this one, so that people who don’t want to read such things don’t have to. This blog is set to accept anonymous comments, but I read them all and won’t tolerate flame wars. None have started.

Some of the most interesting and useful feedback on this material is coming in emails, some shared and others not shared, which I don’t want to post with names attached unless I have permission. I’m just going ahead to name the people AK named in her notes -- it’s been half a century since then, after all. Indeed, some of the email comments are arriving from people in that time period as well and those of us who know each other can probably guess who said what.

In good “discussion” mode, I’ll try to separate the issues from the people.

1. It is most moving that after fifty years the memory of personal relationships with AK have the status of love affairs, magical relationships that have inspired people for decades. They do NOT want that interfered with. Who would?

2. Likewise, there were a few people deeply wounded by past misunderstanding and schism and they, too, still hurt. To some this might be a reason to shut down, but to me it’s a reason to continue.

3. One opinion is that AK’s teaching methods are obsolete now. Students will no longer tolerate the confrontive and sometimes invasive tactics she used then. Indeed, some people wouldn’t accept them then, but they quietly went elsewhere. Is it a loss or a gain to give up the auteur model of teaching? Stanislavki was, after all, a Russian like the famously dictatorial ballet masters.

4. Is it true that academic theatre is nothing like professional theatre? You can still be tough on professional actors? (If Equity allows it.)

5. Some feel that theatre is totally different now. Whatever was important then is NOT important now. Or, to the contrary, theatre, esp. repertory theatre, is entering a renaissance that is vital and thriving across the country with new companies still being founded.

6. AK’s life trajectory is not really understandable without considering the time periods, the place, the administrators, sexism, and so on. No different from understanding a character in a play. (I confess -- this is my opinion.) All this happened before the Derrida Deconstruction craze, but we understand that, don’t we?

Mary Strachan Scriver

(Prairie Mary_

Monday, October 14, 2013


Karen Black was in my cohort at Northwestern University School of Speech.  Not for the whole time, because she disappeared.  At the time I had no idea why -- some people may have known.  Some of us assumed it was because Alvina Krause didn’t like her.  Maybe AK didn’t like Robert Benedetti, her roommate at the time, either, but he was a big smart guy no one pushed around and he found a way around AK.  He was just the kind of man she always tried to press into heroic parts, but he resisted and some thought that was why she resisted Karen Black.

Sometimes you can find more insight into someone through their dislikes than their likes.  There’s a great deal of information about Karen out there now because of her recent death, and that includes the memorial in Hollywood which can be seen in compilation at this link:   The best parts of the video are the beginning, which is a montage of clips from ALL her movies (quite different from each other) and the end, which is a montage of still photos from birth to death, some of them shocking and most of them seductive.  

I was fascinated to see Karen’s sister, who looks much like her.  You get a pretty good idea of a well-loved extravagant sweet non-intellectual child-woman who loved sex, cats, and -- well, long walks on country roads, sunsets, kittens, and . . . other corny stuff.  She could sing and compose.  She wrote plays.  She also very shrewdly played scary roles in horror films and was often funny.  There’s a good deal of intelligence behind that, which would exasperate some people.  It’s hard to know how much she was watching herself.

My basic theory is that AK didn’t like Karen because Karen scared her:  she was a person who had abandoned all caution, while AK had staked her life on prudence and discretion in relationships, academic life, and  -- well, she wasn’t always cautious when she taught acting.  In some ways she was as instinctive and as able to pick up on undertow and subtext as KB was, and everyone says KB was an ace at it.  But KB always supported and appreciated those inner springs, while AK wanted to analyze and shape them, which is what she understood to be the task of the actor, especially a traditional realistic proscenium stage actor trained to address tragedy and heroism.  Big ideas, subtly expressed.

Personally, AK had to have respectability because that was her safety.  She was a small, ambitious woman who grew up the youngest in a big family on a Mid-West farm and survived with a sonorous voice, a vigorous erect body, and the singlemindedness of a sword.  If she had been labeled a lesbian, her career would have ended.  She never risked acting professionally.   It would be going too far to say that she had a German northern temperament while Karen Black had a Mediterranean Jewish soul.  But not much.

Karen was a voluptuous, generously sensuous, man-loving person whose salvation was innocence.  She didn’t cling or demand or try to prove anything.  So far the only complaint I’ve seen her make is that she was treated badly on the set of “Day of the Locust.”  It’s a bitter, punishing piece of madness and somehow that got attached to her.

The career of Benedetti was quite different.  I haven’t had anything to do with either of them until recently and then only read Benedetti’s books, watched his movies, emailed a bit.  KB is on Twitter. The two lives went in quite different directions and yet stayed together in friendship, which was always KB’s policy.  Karen’s husband released the story of why she suddenly disappeared from our cohort and why she and Bene stayed such close friends: they conceived a child together at Northwestern.  Both biological parents have embraced this woman, who is an artist with family.
It’s hard to imagine either one of her bio-parents considering abortion and in those days it was probably illegal if not life-threatening.  The stigma, lack of social support, and theatre dreams of both youngsters made raising a child alone impossible.  The two families were local, proud, and who knows how they felt?  Or whether they knew.   Adoption in those days was rigidly private -- the government SWORE it would be forever hidden information.  

There’s no such thing.  

The State of Illinois has opened their adoption records so that the child made right under our noses -- I suppose some of us might have known, including AK -- found her bioparents, Karen and Bene.  No doubt results are mixed and such an enterprise is not always well-advised, but in this case all three had known about each other and tried to find each other.  It turned out just fine.  The Benedetti family, generous and warm Italians that they are, pulled her in -- along with her children and grandchildren.  She and Karen painted together towards the end and she helped with Karen’s care.  KB refused morphine as much as she could bear so as to absorb this happiness.

Benedetti has a strong social conscience with a special concern for African Americans in the South.  Karen was more of a “mom” who took care of everyone, regardless of who they were.  Whether the social constriction the two shared as the price of love was part of creating their ethic or whether their natural character saw them through the ordeal, I see it as a triumph in the end.  Integrity.

I suspect that when KB looked at AK, she saw a path she could never take and wouldn’t want to.  All that caution, all that self-discipline and self-denial would have been impossible for her.  Conversely, I suspect that when AK looked at KB she saw a life she could never lead: all restraints dropped, all goals surrendered to fate and hard work.  I sat in the back of Annie May Swift auditorium, watching, and was more like AK than KB, but appreciated KB anyway.  Do we have to make choices? 

In some ways, AK’s choice betrayed her, because her fame and the emotional pressure she put on her students to break them out of their shells scared the corporate managers of the university apparatus so that they eased her out a little early.  She was wise to have the backup of Eagles Mere and then Bloomsberg where all the calls were her own and a certain amount of abandonment was part of the regime, so long as you got to rehearsals on time.  She and Lucy spent wonderful summer Sundays out in a little boat (it had to have been pea green) with big hats against sunburn. AK scribbled on a notepad, thinking furiously about the playwrights’ knots to untie for an increasingly savvy audience.  All the while Lucy in her faithful, rather stout way, rowed quietly along on the mirroring water.  KB’s idea of such intimacy might have meant stripping and plunging in, which would have ended local affection.  Except for the stalwarts who would heroically swim out to save her.

A writer’s game -- watching, making word pictures, passing judgment on people many have loved -- is a risky business.  Maybe more immoral that sharing physical pleasure when the opportunity arises.  Maybe more immoral than pressing youngsters against their own psychic thorns in hopes of awakening them.

In a way AK probably had something to do with KB’s development but I don’t know whether anyone ever asked either of them.  Sometimes it’s the people who wave us on who teach us most.  Like, not to waste our time on a fate that’s not ours.  Karen didn’t need Eagles Mere -- she was a natural film personality, not a stage presence, though she did well in New York.  It was the California climate that let her bloom, and we are grateful.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Dining room was on the left through the door. 
That's Bill and Kate (Emery) Pogue at the steps.

Here are Kate and Bill again standing the footprint left when the Playhouse was torn down and trucked away.  I don't know whether a photo record was kept.  There's one photo of the exterior that shows up on the Internet.  It features an awning on the front.  Where do the bats roost now?  Or are there still bats?  Do the ghosts of passionate actors drift through on moonlit nights?

Friday, August 16, 2013


Articles about Karen Black are accumulating on the Internet and probably will keep doing so for a long time.  She definitely had an impact on the culture, both the “low” and the “high.”  And I’m sure she was pretty vivid in the lives of those around her as well.  I think of the Flaubert quote I keep at the top of my computer:  “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”  

Among the small cohort that has gotten back in touch via email since the years 1957 to 1961, the reaction to Karen has been helpful in understanding the role and contribution of the legendary Alvina Krause -- not because Karen was a protegée who achieved the stardom some were seeking, but because AK wanted nothing to do with her!  Was even mean to her!  So why?  (That’s what AK would ask, if she were being fair.)

Really effective teachers are like heart surgeons: intimate, incendiary, and relentless.  For some they are life-saving kindlers -- for others, they start conflagrations of identity that may need professional help to recover.  I can think of two -- maybe three -- who landed in hospitals, “decompensated” in the jargon of our times.  The kind of teacher who does incredible things is creating an instrument for acting -- not a star.  What makes such a teacher so dangerous is not so much their methods or intentions, but the hopes that the students bring:  “Oh, set me on fire, Miss Krause!  Make me burn with a fine clean flame!”  In other words, they handed their talent over to someone else instead of exploring it themselves.  She knew this.  She tried to tell them this.  Sometimes she went too far.  It is a kind of work that can be painful.

But she could not resist taking on a few of the riskier ones.  Karen was not one of “chosen”, but Paula Ragusa/Prentiss was.  Somehow, mostly because she had a prince of a partner (Dick Benjamin), Paula survived.  Her sister did not, but I didn’t know Ann.  

Karen also had a strong partner then:  Robert Benedetti (Bene to friends) , a formidable polymath whom AK tried to tempt into her more ambitious productions (“Oedipus,” “Lear”) with no success.  Both Karen and Bene withdrew from the AK camp.  They thought for themselves, found their own way with spectacular results.  Unconventional.

So that’s one circle of this complex.  There might be other people in it.  I won’t name names for the other circles.  There were individuals (writers, observers) who belonged to no group.  Given that most of us were not yet 21 and given the slow awakening in the larger culture, it was not too surprising that there were groups based on sexuality, including homosexuality.  Perhaps it is more surprising that the gay men shared with “sisters,” who mostly just hadn’t decided.  (I was saving myself for Montana cowboys.)  Those gays didn’t really know what it meant yet.

Another group was a professional set of people whose families were Broadway actors but who for some reason didn’t choose the Stella Adler/Lee Strasberg classes, so they came looking for AK, who was considered an equally good Method acting teacher.  This group wasn’t looking at Hollywood.  They stayed on Broadway and in the touring companies and summer repertories that spin off from Broadway.  Still acting today.

Those with an academic perspective split into two groups:  those who were Ph.D. analytical people who could get into trouble if they challenged AK.  Of course, challenge is at the heart of a Ph.D. candidate -- questioning is the name of the game.  But AK never got a doctorate and never absorbed the ethic.  To her it was defiance.  Others, who aligned themselves with her more loyally, were sometimes drawn into a kind of family relationship, as though they were the sorts of sons who would become vicars in the estate’s parish.

People who were invited to Eagles Mere, AK’s repertory company in a tiny Pennsylvania resort town on a pristine lake, were another group, overlapping the previous.  Working under the influence of that intoxicating drug No-Sleep, we did what we considered to be amazing work while AK used every trick she had and rejoiced when they were effective.  Certainly we learned our limits, which usually turned out to be a lot farther out there than we might have guessed -- even for me, who was only a costumer.

Like everything else in the great cultural sea-change that roared through the world in the Sixties and Seventies, theatre transformed, veering into absurdism, dada, spectacle, and shock-performing in the actual laps of the audience, maybe sans costumes.  At the same time on television the series were creating the image of a strange Stepford happy-families way of life that has since boomeranged into vampires and zombies.  All the while the actual world was far more like “Five Easy Pieces” and “Easy Rider.  If we were lucky.

The “Method” was created in Edwardian times for an Edwardian kind of theatre: prosceniums, realism, mimesis of gentry -- very “Downton Abbey” with an echo of Shakespeare and Greek theatre, which were all the rage in the Fifties when I went to high school.  Well, they don’t wear out, do they?  I loved the movie “Being Julia,” which hit all the stops in the kind of work AK understood: an elocution base, a comedy skill, and a thread of darkness.  No need to get either nude or screwed.  At least not onstage.  But if Karen Black were persuaded it was necessary, she would.  With style.  So would Paula -- if she were in the mood.  Both women were a helluva lot more intelligent than they seemed.  

This little cohort remembers a lot of indelible moments, mostly hilarious.  I would have loved to have seen Karen play a scene with Paula.  Both women turned out to be effective in front of a camera.  Method acting is really powerful when handled skillfully in close-up acting where the flicker of an eyelash expresses a major realization.  AK never addressed film acting, but her Method was effective anyway because it had a sound base. 

I think it was important to AK to keep theatre at a genteel cultural level, the sort of respect one once gave to a well-traveled Chautauqua speaker like Dean Dennis who recruited her and supported her career.  She was afraid of side shows, burlesque, carnie downscale stuff, because she needed the respectability -- the assumption of Christianity -- in the first place (she was, after all, from a small Midwestern town) to distinguish this acting from the kind that was a euphemism for prostitution.  At the same time, her roots were in progressivism, aspiration to the highest level, idealism.  In the Fifties film was in love with Bergman, Russian realism, and French Cinema Veritée -- all of them still hanging onto the aftermath of war.  Some of the students loved it dearly, but though she never said so, AK was not one to appreciate the gutter.  Or even nihilism.   Oh, maybe Chekhov.  She wanted to be serious and despised Helen Hayes for her sentimentality.  And girly curls.

Extraordinary people are generally more many-sided than monolithic, but no one can be all things to all others and much of life is a matter of finding one’s niche.  There’s really no NEED to see Karen Black as a protegée of AK or anyone else.  But those of us who knew both of them at NU have not forgotten either of them, one way or another.  They both knew how to seduce.  Far more than just sexually.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Kevin Leonard, prompted by David Downs, and fully supported by myself, is collecting and ordering the archive for Alvina Krause, the legendary acting professor at Northwestern University.   This is the University introduction:

This service was launched in July 2011 to capture and preserve historically significant web content generated by and relating to Northwestern University.  Your archived web site will be accessible via the NUA web site and will be searchable. Additional information on this initiative may be found at

NUA will only capture and preserve publicly available materials and will never copy content that is password protected or requires registration or data entry. In addition, all preserved content will be embargoed for at least 30 days before being made public and will then be prominently labeled as an “archived copy for study and research” to avoid confusion with your live website. This process involves no special preparation of the website and is designed to have no negative effects on your web server’s performance. 

Please contact Benn Joseph or Kevin Leonard by phone (847-491-3136) or email ( or should you have any questions or concerns about the Northwestern University Web Archives.  For more information about donating materials to the University Archives, please see

This is an excellent first step toward translating the mission of your University Archives into the digital age. Thank you for your time and consideration.

In case you are following this blog in order to study AK’s life or are actually on the campus in Evanston, there are materials at Deering Library that include paper and other real world materials.  Leonard and Downs want to collect as many as possible of the class notebooks in which AK replied to students’ account of their work.  These two blogs, and will be archived.

Which raises the question of who deposits what where.  Many AK students are famous and courted by major institutions.  Marshall Mason’s papers will go to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.  Other are academics with close affiliations where they teach.  My cohort is crossing into our seventies, so we are actually having OUR students archive materials about US.  My own work is split among quite different fields so will be scattered.  

Some people or their executors don’t realize what importance some seemingly trivial materials might have for researchers.  Leonard tells me they often get inquiries by people writing histories of performance arts, crucial in the 20th century when camera acting was just coming to fruition and experimental theatre was taking hold even out on the street.  If there’s any question in your mind about it, contact Leonard for advice.  Not me!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


This drawing was done by a student at Doane College.

1966 with Jack Peyrouse

These photos were taken at workshops done at Doane College while Peyrouse was the head of the drama department.  She came yearly for three years.


These photos come from Jack Peyrouse who was a student of Alvina Krause's in the early Sixties.  Doane College is in Crete, Nebraska where she received her honorary
doctorate.  They show AK at work in rehearsal, moving among the actors to whisper into their ears, put her hand over a mouth, comment on behalf of the character or the playwright, and all the other strategies to evoke total engagement.

AK grew up in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, but I don't know how close that is to Doane College.  Still she was a American from the Midwest and felt at home there.

Monday, May 13, 2013


by Dan Sullivan
LA Times, July 29, 1970

SANTA MARIA.  The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts of Allen Hancock College:  It sounds like one of those institutions that take ads in the back of “unglossy” magazines promising you a lifetime career in espionage or cartooning.  In fact, the school, named after the Los Angeles millionaire who donated its site, is a respectable member of California’s junior college system.  And its summer “conservatory” program for young people who want to go into the theatre promise only the chance to live and work with a busy repertory company.

But Donovan Marley, director of the college’s theatre department and founder of the summer of the program, has worked to make the Santa Maria experience richer than the old stock-apprentice system it resembles.  Eight academic credits go with it.  The plant, a $1 million thrust-stage theatre, patterned after the Guthrie in Minneapolis, is first -class.  The plays, ranging this year from Anouilh’s “Becket” to “Life with Father” are cast immediately; if you don’t get at least one part, you get your $400 back and can go home.  (Or as most do, you can stay and do technical or fronted the house work.)


Most important, Marley’s staff knows theater and knows young people.  Gordon Peacock, directing “Saint Joan” this year, is head of Canada’s largest university theater department, that of the University of Alberta.  Set designer Robert Blackman did the scenery for the American premiere of Feiffer’s “God Bless” at the Yale Repertory  Theater.  The seven young professional actors who form the core of the company (with Equity approval) are young but seasoned.  And -- Alvina Krause.

Some readers will not know who Miss Krause is.  Others will be surprised to know she is still teaching.  Since her retirement -- not, one gathers, voluntary -- from Northwestern in 1963, she hasn’t been teaching on a regular basis.  But at 75 she is a busy guest lecturer. has made a series of films for educational TV and very occasionally takes on a guest director’s assignment.  Last year she staged “Three Sisters” here (she accepted the assignment, she said, because she had finally decided what the play is about) and this year she is doing “Becket.”

Marley wanted Miss Krause because during her 33 years at Northwestern she ha become what is called a legend in her own time, maybe the best acting teacher in the country.  Her students have included Patricia Neal, Salome Jens, Jerry Orbach, Dick Benjamin and Charlton Heston.  Also, Walter Kerr, whom she had advised not to tecome an actor.  (Too earnest.)

A mystique grew around Miss Krause in her Northwestern years: she was one of those teachers you have crushes on years after you thought you’d stopped having crushes.  Gerald Freedman, director of the New York Shakespeare Festival, put it this way:  “You suddenly realized you had collided with someone who demanded that you take full measure of yourself.”  Another alumnus wrote:  “If Alvina Krause had been born 300 years ago, she would have been burned as a witch.”

Watching her rehearsing “Becket” for its Tuesday night opening, you were reminded less of a witch than of a fairy godmother -- an unfrilly one, like Cinderella’s.  Miss Krause is tiny, wears sensible shoes and, despite the forbidding portrait above, has in persona a deceptive air of being pleased with the way things are going: as if she were looking up at a six-foot son and telling him he looked just fine.  This rather folksy image has its uses -- Miss Krause can issue a zinger so pleasantly that it’s into you and working before you realize it’s not a compliment.


Like most directors she complains about having to teach acting as well as get a show together.  This is rhetoric.  Clearly, she loves to do both.  She is on her feet every minute during rehearsal, following the action like a head linesman.  Then she goes home and types up notes, which some smart publisher will someday make a book of.  The lady is involved.

Marley admires her, because “she makes actors think; and anybody who can do that . . .”  she considers the leading heresy of this or any age is that acting consists of saying words emotionally.  Rather, with Stanislavsky and Boleslavsky, she sees the actor’s task is to be a matter of re-creating the big and little stimulus and responses that constitute your character’s life (everybody’s life), emotion coming as a natural aftermath.  This means that everyone who does a show for Miss Krause, down to the spear carriers, has to know what is going through the nervous system of his character at every moment, and to an extent feel it.  It they don’t, they get caught

“Norman priests and barons -- be aware that a Saxon may infiltrate your entourage,” she had warned Henry II’s honor guard in a note early in rehearsals.  “Never be unaware of movement behind you.”  The warning did not sink in.  So, at the rehearsal I watched, Miss Krause had a fellow on the sidelines come bursting into the scene, bowl over the guards, and wrestle Henry to the ground.  It was a surprise to everybody, especially Henry (Laird Williamson) but the point was made.

Acting to Miss Krause is believing with your body.  Trying to get the right pinking quality into Henry’s and Becket’s reporter, she made Williamson and Vance Jefferis fence their way through the scene.  For an intimate moment n a cave during a storm, she flicked the lights on and off in the rehearsal hall for lightning and made those on the sidelines drum their nails on the floor for rain.  Automatically the players slowed down, playing the silences as well as the words of the scene.

She prowled the stage like a poltergeist, quietly crooning the thoughts of a character as an actor would speak his lines, suddenly clapping her hand over the mouth of a player who was supposed to spit, making him need to spit.

“You’re using this too much,” she said, tapping Williamson’s head.  “Stop thinking How.  Let the scene play you.”  To capture Henry’s isolation before a Saxon crowd, she had Williamson look around the room “and tell us what it’s like to be stared at by actors who think they can do the scene better than you can.”  The actors on the sidelines caught the mood.  “Boo, screw it up!” they chanted.  “They’re faking now,” Miss Krause said pleasantly.  “Should have seen their faces a minute ago.”

Forget the words, play underneath the words, she kept telling them.  The character says this, but isn’t he really thinking about what he’s going to say next?  Now is he really gruff here, or does he know that if he isn’t gruff he’s going to go to pieces.”  “Archbishop,” she yelled to a silent player in one scene.  “What’s bothering you here?”

“I’m the Archbishop and I’m not used to being kept waiting.”

“What are you going to do about it.”

“I’ll wait, damn it.”

“Very good.”

She made the extras in a crowd scene tell how exactly how much they had been bribed to cheer for Henry.  (“Is that all?  I got more.”)  She made a girl with three lines picture exactly what it would mean for a peasant girl to go off to the palace as a courtesan.  (“What does that mean to her?  Ice cream sodas?”)  She was the Story Lady, getting everybody into the world of the play, and if she wouldn’t go, she pushed you.

Afterwards she talked, not effusively, about her method.  She has always worked this way  It is Stanislavsky -- and lots of other people.  The state of American acting is “rather sad,” mostly because no one really believes that acting can be taught as music is.  She likes Santa Maria.  “I like the attitude, the vision.  It isn’t flighty.  It begins down here.”  She points at the floor.  Where she begins.

Friday, May 10, 2013




“She is a catalytic agent; something has to happen to you when you encounter her.  You cannot ignore her.  You suddenly realize you have collided with someone who demands that you take full measure of yourself.”   -- Gerald Freedman

If Alvina Krause has been born 300 years ago, she would have been burned as a witch.  No other explanation would have served to account for the extraordinary effect she has on young people -- and often on older ones as well.

In thirty-three years as a teacher of acting at Northwestern University, in Evanston, IL, she taught a roster of students which reads like a Who’s Who of American Theatre:  Patricia Neal, Charlton Heston, Walter Kerr, Inga Swenson, Jean Hagen, Gerald Freedman, Jeffrey Hunter, Ralph Meeker, Jerry Ohrbach, Martha Hyer, Salome Jens, Paula Prentiss, Joe Bova, Nancy Dussault, Robert Reed, Bill Daniels, Carol Lawrence, Dick Benjamin.  And the list goes on and on.

But numbers are not important: that could be luck, or coincidence.  The remarkable thing has always been her knack for inspiring the young, her drive, her imperishable idealism, her incredible vitality, and the last impression she leaves on her students.

In June of 1964, she delivered a lecture on an assembly program at the Evanston Township High School.  A sixteen year old boy in the audience wrote his impressions after hearing her speak for the first time:  [In a composition which reached us via his English composition teacher.]

“To me Miss Alvina Krause is truth.  Truth in the sense that she is exactly what she claims people should be -- alive.  She is the perfect example of the being who reacts to every stimulus with all of her sense, with all her body, with all her mind.  Even before she began to speak, I noticed how she examined and responded to her surroundings, especially the audience itself.  I could have sworn she looked directly at me several times during the awards presentation -- not only looked at me, but noticed me, as if she were saying to herself, “There’s a tired boy in a pinstripe shirt.  What can I say to interest him?”  And yet I am sure that she saw every single person in the audience, for it is ridiculous to assume that she would notice me especially.  when she spoke concerning the “total man” of the Elizabethan Age, my feelings about her were confirmed.  She is a great teacher because she teaches not what she has learned, but what she herself is.  She shows people how to live.”

Starry-eyed?  Maybe.  But a lot of older and perhaps wiser people would confirm the impression.  What kind of woman does it take to be able, at just under seventy years of age, to produce that kind of impression on a teenager today?  “The way to her heart is through action,” says Gerald Freedman, the Artistic Director of the New York Shakespeare Festival -- and perhaps that’s the best way to explain her: by describing her in action.

A freshman entering the theatre department at Northwestern usually encountered her obliquely at first.  Beginning acting was reserved for sophomores.  But if he was wise, he learned quickly that she was willing to permit freshmen to slip into the back of the auditorium and observe her classes, and as often as not, he would arrange to get there at 9:30 AM, even if it meant cutting another class in the process.  And this opening lecture was always something of an event that even upperclassmen dropped in to hear.  it went something like this:

When the class was assembled, the swinging doors at the back of the auditorium would open, smartly, and she would stride in, often as not dressed in shades of wine or purple, with a handkerchief tucked neatly at her waist, and her hair moored firmly in place by an antique silver comb.

She moved briskly down the aisle, with an expression which was expectant, playful, and quizzical, and greeted the familiar faces in the crowd -- usually with an amiably malicious and intensely “in” remark, which made the old-timers feel superior, if they understood it, and whetted the appetite of the new-comers to belong.  Then, taking her seat on the apron of the stage, she would consult her class cards, and call the roll.  Once.  On the first day.  After that she would know them and know who was present and who was not.  Then a pause.  the smile would be gone, and the class cards laid aside, as she visibly summoned her powers.  The class would fall silent and there would be not the faintest rustle of movement.  She surveyed them for a long moment, thoughtfully, and then began to speak.

“Now we can get down to business.”  Tucking her handkerchief into her belt.  “First of all, we’d better be sure you’re in the right place.  I teach acting.  I don’t know why you are here.  Some of you want to be teachers.  Some, perhaps, simply because you love the theatre and want to learn about it.  Certainly off of you will not be professional actors.  Thank God.  The field is overcrowded as it is.  But I’m teaching for the professionals.  Those who want to devote their lives to acting.  And your work will be judged accordingly.  If you are looking for glamour and fun, this is not the place for you.  Perhaps we will find both.  I hope so.  but they are accidental.  By-products.  Our object is work.  I will not teach you how to be successful.  I can give you no simple tricks that will make you a star.  There are none, and anyway, that doesn’t interest me.  I will try to teach you the craft of acting.  How successful I am depends on my ability and on yours.  I can be patient with slowness to learn.  All art is difficult, and it takes time.  But I will not tolerate stupidity and laziness.  There is a waiting list for this class.  I cannot admit more than 20 or the whole class would be useless.  If the University would let me, I would have fewer.  So long as you are willing to work and learn, you may stay.  But if you aren’t, there are others waiting to take your place.

“You say -- most of you, anyway -- that you want to be actors.  Do you know what you are saying?  Do you have any idea of what it MEANS to be an actor?

“An actor must be a little more and a little better than anyone else.  He must be able to play a genius today and a fool tomorrow and understand both.  To have a voice which is strong, flexible, and controlled.  To have a body which responds to command, which can handle a Renaissance rapier or a cowboy’s lariat, if need be.  He must know something of music, something of art, and a great deal of life.  He must have eyes to see, a mind that understands.  His senses must be sharper than anyone else’s .  He must be able to perceive the world as a king perceives it or a saint, or a stevedore.  He must know all places and all times, for he may be called upon to play them.  And after you are cast in a role, it is too late to begin preparing for it.  if you were cast as Hamlet, tomorrow, what would you do?  The character alone is far more than you can master in the four-to-six weeks of rehearsal our theatre allows.  You must know beforehand what these people wore, and how they wore it, the houses they lived in and the food they ate.  A prince of Denmark who is a swordsman and a poet does not move as we move.  Life at court was filled with intrigue, and a man who was not alert and on his guard didn’t live long.  This is no room for your slumps and your slouches.  You must learn to walk, to speak, to think, to feel.  And then you must learn to do it on cue.

“Now a word of warning.  You come here fascinated with the neurotic artist, in all his picturesqueness and his pose.  Don’t be taken in.  Kill that illusion now.  Neurosis is not interesting.  Because it interferes with work, with action, with accomplishment.  We have no time for neurosis.”

Then, perhaps, the rear doors would open quietly, and some latecomer would try to slip in unobserved.

“I see you, Tom.  Come on down.”

He would move self-consciously down the aisle but no one would turn to look at him.

“Tom has a way of being late.  Be careful, Tom.  You miss things that way.”

“I overslept” -- in a muffled voice.

“Sleep can be an escape they say. . .   We were talking about work.  And about acting.  Acting is not to be learned by sitting in The Hut or Scott Hall Grill.  Or by playing at psychology.  None of us is perfect -- but we are all capable of improvement.  Get rid of your laziness.  Of your vices.  Of everything that stands between you and work.

“Now, if we are going to accomplish anything here, we must get to know each other very well.  Acting is not like history.  I can’t stand up and read you the rules.  Each of us has his own special problems.  If we are to work freely we must not be afraid; there is no room for jealousy, back-biting and intrigue -- three things the theatre abounds in.  The only way to avoid these things is by understanding.  Understanding of ourselves and each other.

“For that reason I am going to ask you to keep a journal.  To record your progress, to ask your questions, to discuss your problems.  Acting problems, that is.  I am neither a psychoanalyst nor a Mother Confessor.  But the journal is a means of saying to me things which for one reason or another you do not want to say in class.  The journal will be required for the first quarter.  After that you may continue it or not, as you wish. . .

“Your first assignment will be a written one.  There will not be many such.  But tonight I want you to begin your journals by telling me why you are in this class, and why you want to act.  And tell me a little about your past experience, and what it has meant to you.  I don’t ask for an autobiography.  Your personal lives do not concern me, except as they related to acting.  The journals will be turned in on Wednesday, hereafter, and returned to you on Friday on Friday with my comments, if any.”

“I will ask you to buy but two books.  ACTING, THE FIRST SIX LESSONS by Richard Boleslavsky, and AN ACTOR PREPARES by Constantin Stanislavsky.  But that is not to say this is the only reading I expect you to do.  Your preparation is something that must go on, every day, all the time.  You must read, look at pictures, listen to music -- because these are the keys to people.  You must, for instance, be able to know and use in your acting the different, say, in the Vienna of the plays of Schnitzler and the Budapest of Molnar.  If you can’t travel, as many of us can’t, these things can be learned only from the books, the music, the pictures of the people who live there.

“You must know plays and the theatre, for there are many styles, and you may need any of them at any time.  You cannot act Noel Coward in the same manner as Tennessee Williams or Congreve like Shakespeare.  You should be reading plays always and you should know something of the history and tradition of the theatre . . .”

She talked on: didactic, visionary, sometimes unreasonable but demanding, demanding, demanding.  Her effect was hypnotic.  For a group of young men and women of whom perhaps little has been required save tolerable manners and good grades in school, she presented a challenge that was irresistible.

Life quickened, seemed to open out and grow larger, and a sense of purpose grew in them.  Ordinary academic classes seemed like an interruption in the work of life.  They wanted to read, write, think, act.  Her words burst bubbles in their minds, pulled them down to reality in some ways, but at the same time set off flashes of illumination, clusters of revelations about themselves and the life they aspired to.  she expected them to be a little more than human, and they did not want to disappoint her.

When the bell sounded to signal the end of the hour, it was an interruption.

In the ensuing classes, the program of study was carefully planned: each quarter of class work was geared toward a particular project, to sum up the work which was done.  In the first quarter of beginning acting, the project was a statue: one of Malvina Hoffman’s sculptures of the Peoples of the World in the Hall of Man at Chicago’s Field Museum: to look at the statue, feel it (museum guards eventually grew tolerant), touch it, perceive it in the muscles, empathetically -- and from that physical object, create a character and a scene.  Without words.  Simply to absorb another creature into one’s muscles, explore it, come to understand it, and then coax them to bring it forth again, intact, and alive.  The second quarter took an opposite tack: a character from a novel -- if possible, a big novel:  ANNA KARENINA or OF HUMAN BONDAGE, which spanned a life-time, and in which the novelist supplied the background and the local color the playwright would not: the details to be picked over and absorbed and selected to create a performance.  Then, at last, in the final quarter, the absolute discipline of the thing itself: tackling a character from a play.  (Other subjects and areas were also covered along the way: dialects, vocal exercises, comedy techniques, how to make entrances and exits, and how to fall down or faint convincingly without getting hurt, along with sense memory exercises, and exercises in observation and concentration.)

The second year acting course was not acting at all, but officially under the aegis of the Department of Oral Interpretation.  ORAL INTERPRETATION OF THE DRAMA.  The Greeks, Shakespeare, and selected moderns.  But something slightly demented on the first day, like taking the class out of doors to play a game of baseball in The Manner of the Greeks would serve to scare off all the random English Majors and academic types who might have signed up for the course and then she could resume serious work on Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides.  (When President Roosevelt’s death was announced, Alvina Krause was shattered: how could she teach that afternoon?  By concentrating on Sophocles:  “Numberless are the world’s wonders.  But none so wonderful as Man.”  I have not spoken to her about the Kennedy assassination, but my guess is that Euripides provided the text again.  “Never shall the violent man rest at my hearth.  Never shall his thoughts be my thoughts.”  That undergraduate year led to the real meat.  STYLES IN ACTING was Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw (“SHAW IS DIDACTIC”) and Brecht, or any other playwrights the class was especially anxious to tackle.

In addition to her teaching duties, Alvina Krause was also the principal instigator of a theatre workshop program of two evenings each quarter, consisting of 3 plays each, or a total of eighteen plays a year, directed by student directors, and overseen by A.K. herself.  (A.K. being the way she signs all communications, and the natural term of reference for her.)  This was in addition to teaching, and directing one major University Theatre Production each year.

Still, this was not enough to occupy her fully.

During spring vacation in the year 1945, when World War II was still in progress, and rationing was still in effect, she went to New York to see plays with a friend, Lucy McCammon, a physical education teacher at Bloomsburg State Teachers College in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.  Lucy happened to mention to her than an old summer theatre was standing empty in a mountain resort town called Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania.  On impulse they got on the phone, without taking time to reflect, and within minutes the property was leased, and A.K. and Lucy found themselves proprietors of a theatre.  (“I needed freedom -- freedom to put in practice fully what I believe in, the kind of theatre I was convinced COULD exist . . . And students were crying for experience, real experience.”)

A company was assembled of interested and talented students -- among them a young girl from Knoxville, Tennessee, named Patricia Neal -- and in June of 1945, the company gathered for the first time at the Playhouse.

The theatre had formerly been run by Ethel Barrymore Colt, but a war had intervened, and the first chore was to drive out the bats and mice.  (The bats always remained a problem, but they had a strong theatre sense, and confined their appearances to murder-mysteries such as MACBETH, though the flying squirrels showed no such discretion.)

Starting out with little or nothing but enthusiasm and determination (Patricia Neal, in addition to playing leads was the company cook and snapped beans during rehearsals, or ran across the road during the breaks to prepare her specialty tuna fish with noodles -- quick, nourishing and cheap), the first season of nine plays was launched, and the theatre continued for twenty seasons, during which it built up an inventory of costumes, scenery and properties any theatre might envy.  (At least one Off-Broadway show has been costumed with things borrowed from the costume room at Eagles Mere -- an enticing room full of boxes and bags with labels like: “Troll Tails and Strange Things.”) 

In twenty years at Eagles mere, A.K. produced a total of one hundred and seventy-eight plays, including 18 of Shakespeare, 16 of Bernard Show, 5 of Ibsen, 3 of Chekhov, 4 of Moliere, and 2 of Edmond Rostand.  There were seven musical comedies, an opera (with Inga Swenson), an original revue, several original plays, and works by most of the major modern playwrights -- from Noel Coward to Pirandello, from Tennessee Williams to Ionesco.

They were busy years, lived at a high level of intensity, and the work was constant and hard.

There was also the need for enormous personal discipline: among her students she commanded a degree of respect and admiration that sometimes bordered on idolatry.  (Students tended to be categorized as Krauseites and Anti-Krauseites, according to whether they joined the cult or avoided it.)  and the strength of her personality was and is immense.  Her rampant idealism can make an ordinary high rage seem like divine wrath, and the value placed on her opinions made her praise or blame carry enormous weight.  Consequently, she has always been conscious of the necessity to use her power as gently and wisely as possible.  It hasn’t always worked -- like anyone, she can give into pressure or become impatient -- and as she would be the first to admit, there is a bit of Ibsen’s “Troll Spirit” in all of us, and given the kind of power she possesses there is always the temptation to use it.  But generally, it has been conscientiously administers, and the hurts she inflicted were inevitable: no one can inspire that much caring, and not cause some pain.

Her thirty-three years at the University and the years at Eagles Mere were extraordinarily creative, and considering the economics of the American Theatre, probably as consistently productive as any career could be, though it did not yield her fame or fortune.  Then in 1963, at 68, she began to encounter difficulties: she was past the mandatory retirement age.  Twice she had succeeded in postponing it, but now she was to be retired -- very much against her will.

The reaction of her former students was one of shocked indignation that A.K. should be turned out of her classroom when it was clear she was still at the peak of her powers.  Great and small, they set to work to reverse the University’s decision.  Charlton Heston sent off a personal letter stating:  “Alvina Krause is retiring, and the School of Speech will be poorer because she is no longer there, just as all those who were there when she was are richer for it.  No student went through speech in her time unmarked by her influence or uninspired by her sharp example . . . As one of this group, I’m still vividly aware of all I learned from her.”

Two hundred and fifty-six of the old students assembled on both coasts to express their distress at the University’s action -- a group which included stars of stage, screen and television, directors, writers, stage managers, teachers in schools and Universities all across the United States, and many others who were no longer in the theatre but who still treasured what she had given them.  A telegram was sent to Northwestern with all of their names appended, containing an urgent request that the University attempt to utilize her enormous talents in special lectures, independent study courses, or however might prove feasible, but the University was not impressed.

A.K. turned to teaching private lessons and preparing lectures and workshops in colleges and high school which proved eager for her services.  For two more 1963 and 1964 she continued to operate the theatre at Eagles Mere.  Then the blow fell.  The property on which the Playhouse stood was sold, and she lost the lease on the theatre, and the loyal audience built up over twenty years.

She then decided, at seventy or thereabouts, that it was time to make a new beginning.  With an ex-student, John Van Meter, she booked the Harper theatre in South Chicago, with intentions of setting up a repertory theatre.  Three plays were mounted:  Pirandello’s SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR, Durrenmatt’s THE PHYSICISTS, and Shaw’s TOO TRUE TO BE GOOD.  Critical opinion was generally favorable-- despite some reservations about the youth of the company -- but after three months, money was short, the location had not proved ideal, and there were other claims on the theatre, so the project was forced to fold.

Since then, A.K. has not been idle.  She is still a devout gardener (“Tulips, daffodils . . . I have more than fifty roses.  Chrysanthemums for autumn. . . How else does one solve problems?”) and her lectures and workshops in colleges and high schools (often booked back to back in a schedule that would have staggered someone half her age) have kept her busy:  “From Gallaudet, the Washington, D.C. College for the Deaf and Dumb to Texas University, to Los Angeles State College, to Deane College, Nebraska. . . from Coast to Coast, everywhere but N.U.”  She is a little bitter at being banished from the University where she taught for so many years but there are new interests to pursue.  On teaching the deaf and dumb at Gallaudet:  “They were wonderful.  I just talked directly to them.  And a young man -- he was very good -- translated everything into sign language.  They watched me -- and they watched him -- and somehow it worked.  It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced.”

To sum up her contribution to the theatre in a few paragraphs is impossible, but some things must be said.  She is not the kind of precise practitioner of the Stanislavsky “Method” represented by Lee Strasberg and other New York directors and teachers, and she does not claim to be.  Her conception of theatre is too all-embracing for that: she wants the grandeur, the STYLE as well as the psychology -- in short, she is after very much the things that Stanislavsky himself was after, but she pursues them in her own fashion.

She has a keen analytical mind, and probably could have made a name as a theorist if she ever could have sat down to write long enough to produce anything more complete than notes and comments on particular productions.  She has analyzed and codified the external techniques which every successful actor learns with time, but generally no one can teach, and succeeded in teaching them by creating her own vocabulary for them.  In this area is probably unique, because, in this country at least, most teachers who are interested in external techniques know very little about the inner ones, while the “Method” teachers, who are most interested in internal techniques, seldom bother with externals.  and she is the only teacher I have observed who could seriously teach comedy, and not kill it in the process: to analyze it, break it down, put it back together again, and still have it come out funny.

But her greatest achievement is perhaps this: she has the ability to expand horizons.  To bring people to a sense of their own potential.  To create the vision of what the theatre can be -- and generally isn’t.  (You trained us for a theatre that doesn’t exist!”)

In a world where it’s cool to be hip, and hip to be cool, she is neither cool nor hip.  She cares too much.  It’s impossible for her to remain aloof, to avoid risks.  She is opinionated, often arbitrary, sometimes unreasonable, utterly impatient with incompetence, inflexible in her standards, and sometimes absolutely infuriating.  But she has the gift of enthusiasm and excitement and -- one of her favorite words --”astonishment.”

Now, lest I’ve made her sound like a cross between Socrates and Tamara, Queen of the Visigoths, I’d like to repeat one more little story told by one of her students.
“I was coming down the walk from the library, toward Foster Street, when I saw this adorable little girl running down the sidewalk in her overalls.  I had to just stop and watch her.  She was so peppy. and bright-eyed, and she was having so much fun just running down the street.  Then she got to the corner and I realized it wasn’t a little girl.  It was A.K. in her slacks hurrying to drop a letter in the mailbox.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Stage and Screen Are Ablaze with a Galaxy Discovered by Alvina Krause at Northwestern University
By Eugenie Wells
(Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine, June 4, 1961)

Show business centers on Hollywood and Broadway, but many of its great names got there via Evanston, IL, and the School of Speech of Northwestern University.

In the movie capital, the network television studios, the theatre dressing rooms, the name of Alvina Krause is familiar and respected.  A professor of dramatics, who has become a “Miss Chips” on the Evanston campus, Miss Krause is retiring this month after 30 years at the N.U. school of speech, but her students will be leaving their marks on the American drama for many years to come.

Jennifer Jones was Phyllis Isley, of Tulsa and points southwest when she studied with Alvina Krause.  Jeffrey Hunter was Hank McKinnies, of Milwaukee.  Charlton Heston was an Evanston boy who met his famed actress wife, Lydia Clarke, in Alvina Krause’s classes.

Alvina Krause was and is a tough taskmaster as well as an admired and beloved one.  She declares she never “discovered” anyone, she just tried to teach them to discover themselves.

She is loath to offer too much encouragement, even to promising young actors and actresses, for she is familiar with the tragic life of the player who spends a lifetime in grease paint and never wins great success.

“If a student learns at 21 that he doesn’t have what it takes,” she declares, “that’s bad enough.  But if he doesn’t realize it until he’s 35, that’s really tough.

“It would be a horrible thing, to encourage a youth, too sure of himself, to go to Broadway, and have him wish, five years later, that he weren’t there.  I don’t want to have anyone coming to me and asking, “Why did you let me go?”

There was one one-year course in acting when Miss Krause came there a generation ago.  Today there are three full year courses, with a total of 12 hours’ credit.

University students used to think in terms of “acting,” she recalls.  Now they think and study in terms of “interpretation.”

Miss Krause asks her students to keep personal journals in which they take note of every situation, every person they encounter who might contribute to their ability to interpret and project characters.  The notes are completely confidential betwen each pupil and Miss Krause, but she doesn’t hesitate to ask them to enact crises, tragic or embarrassing that come directly from their personal experiences.
On occasions Miss Krause has been known to ascertain that a couple of her students have become involved in a love affair.  She is liable to ask them, in classes, to improvise love scenes.

School of speech grads recall one year when Miss Krause asked a young lady to make up and enact on the spot, a scene set in an ice cream parlor, in which she hears suddenly that her father has just been killed.  Miss Krause was aware that, about a month earlier, the girl had been in an ice cream parlor when she received word that her father had just been killed.

Merciless?  Perhaps -- but Alvina Krause doesn’t pretend to pull any punches with her students.  And, while they fear her stern discipline on the campus, many of them learn to love her, and correspond with her for years.  The mail brings an unusual amount of letters from Broadway and Hollywood to the big old house a half block from the Evanston campus where the small, gray-haired lady has lived for many seasons.

She operates a summer theatre at Eagles Mere, PA, near Williamsport, in wich she employs primarily drama students who are at a level between college work and the professional stage.  Life for the players at Eagles Mere is no holiday either, as they play one show, rehearse the next, and study the one after that.

The ordeal is worth it.

Jennifer Jones, who went almost directly from the Evanston campus into Hollywood’s “The Song of Bernadette,” added to her fame with “Duel in the Sun” and other pictures.

Charlton Heston piled up innumerable credits, including those for box office appeal, and his Oscar winning “Ben-Hur” merely marks a peak in a career which has many years to go.

Ralph Meeker was in “Mister Roberts,” “Streetcar Named Desire,” and “Picnic” on Broadway before going to Hollywood for “Kiss Me Deadly,” “The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown,” “Paths of Glory,” “Desert Sands,” and “The Big House.”

Cloris Leachman also made her movie debut in “Kiss Me Deadly,” a Mickey Spillane shoot’em up, after playing on Broadway in “South Pacific,” “King of Hearts,” “The Masque,” “A Touch of the Poet,” and other plays.

Billie Lou Watt went from Northwestern into “Kiss and Tell,” which ran for nearly two years in the Loop and then continued on to a Manhattan stage career.

Two of Miss Krause’s girls, Patricia Neal and Jean Hagan (who had been Jean Verhagen at the school of speech), made their marks in Lillian Hellman’s bitter drama, “Another Part of the Forest.”  Pat won a New York Drama Critics Circle award in that production, went to Hollywood to make “The Fountainhead,” followed that with film roles in “A Face in the Crowd,” “The Hasty Heart,” and others.  Jean was on the screen in “Spring Reunion” and “The Big Knife.”

Jeffrey Hunter has been a virile hero in everything from “Gun for a Coward,” and “The True Story of Jesse James” to “The Proud Ones” and “The Great Locomotive Chase.”  His latest role: that of the Christ in “King of Kings.

Charlotte Lubotsky became Charlotte Rae, stole the show in “The Littlest Revue,” and came back to star in the Empire Room of the Palmer House.  Paul Lynde is in “Bye Bye Birdie.”  Carol Lawrence won plaudits in “West Side Story.”  Richard Stauffer is in “The Fantasticks,”  Georgann Johnson in “Critic’s Choice,” Jerry Orbach in “Carnival,” Nancy Dussault in “Do Re Mi,” Ron Husmann in “Tenderloin.”

Jerry Friedman coached Judy Holliday for “Bells Are Ringing,” directed New York’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park last summer, will direct a new Broadway musical, “The Gay Life” next fall.  Inga Swenson is understudying Julie Andrews in “Camelot.

The list of Krause pupils who went directly to Hollywood and made good would run into scores, not forgetting Martha Hyer, one of the most beautiful blondes ever to cross the Great Divide.

Among Alvina’s other graduates who have attained fame in various phases of the entertainment business you’d have to include Andra Martin, Paula Prentiss, and Ann-Margret Olson, the latter two recent additions to the Hollywood star roster; Judy Bement, who went from the campus Waa-Mu show to a featured role in “Medium Rare,” and the old reliable Edgar Bergen.

All of them can recall the days and nights when they studied under Alvina Krause.

Born at New Lisbon, WI, Miss Krause took her bachelor’s degree in science and speech at Northwestern in 1928.  She taught high school for a year at Seaside, OR, and taught for another year at Hamline University, St. Paul.

Her Hamline players came to Northwestern to take part in a festival of one-act plays, and Alvina was invited to stay and join the faculty.  She achieved her master’s degree in interpretation in 1933, and was appointed an assistant professor of interpretation in 1940.

When she retires this month, she will head for Pennsylvania and her 17th season at Eagles Mere.  After that, she’ll be back in Evanston, and doubtless will continue to be seen about the campus in an advisory capacity of some kind.

Northwestern’s school of speech has a famed faculty (some of whose members also studied under Miss Krause), and it of course will continue to be one of the foremost university dramatics centers in the country -- but is inimitable “Miss Chips” will be missed.