The Seattle Repertory Theatre and the entire Seattle theater community are in mourning today over the overnight passing of The Rep’s Artistic Director, Jerry Manning from complications following heart surgery he had in March of this year. Mr. Manning was only 58 years old and has been the AD at The Rep since 2010. Beloved by many, but especially by local actors championed by Mr. Manning, his tenure at The Rep saw the company remain financially solvent while expanding programs that commissioned new work by new theater artists.
The Rep and its Executive Director Benjamin Moore issued this statement earlier this afternoon:
Mr. Moore announced his own retirement earlier this year. With the passing of Mr. Manning, the Seattle Rep faces a period of changes and challenges.
To donate to the Jerry Manning Memorial Fund at Seattle Repertory Theatre, click HERE.
Personally, I must note that this is an upsetting loss for everyone who loves Seattle theater. I had the privilege of meeting and working with Mr. Manning on a major interview project a couple years ago, and he was a kind and charming subject to collaborate with and interview. He was also the rare theater “bigwig” who always remembered everyone’s name and had a gracious, friendly word for everyone he met. He is beloved by the local acting community for casting largely from the local acting pool, a practice that was not common for many years in Seattle especially at the larger Equity houses. In a word, I think the best way to describe Jerry Manning is that he was a real MENSCH…a true man of noble character, dignity, humor and warmth.
A toast to Mr. Jerry Manning.