William T. Brown
1929 - 2016
A well-known and highly respected figure in Maryland and Washington, DC theater, he designed and directed more than 150 productions. In 1970 he was a founding member of the theater department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he taught and directed plays and where he served as department chair for 18 years
William T. "Bill" BROWN died peacefully at home on September 19, 2016 at the age of 87. A well-known and highly respected figure in Maryland and Washington, DC theatre, he designed and directed more than 150 productions. In 1970 he was a founding member of the theatre department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he taught and directed plays and where he served as department chair for 18 years, responsible for the development and acceptance of the UMBC theatre major. Beginning in 1985 he founded, designed, directed, and produced the Shakespeare on Wheels project, a unique traveling theatre that toured the Baltimore and DC area for 10 years during the summer. A graduate of Howard University, he received an MFA degree from Case Western Reserve University. While in Cleveland he served as designer and technical director at Karamu Theatre before returning to Howard University, where he taught for 11 years. During a two-year leave of absence he accepted a Rockefeller Foundation grant that took him and his family to the University of Ibadan in Western Nigeria. From 1963 to 1965 he helped develop a special theatre program designed to teach secondary school teachers how to use drama in their classrooms. His scenic designs were locally and internationally recognized, and throughout his life he continued to use his skills as a craftsman in woodwork and design. In 1956 he married Alfredine Parham, who died in 1988. He is survived by Frances Marie Farmer Brown, whom he married in 1990; by his daughter Opeyemi (Camilla) Parham and sons Darrell and Kevin; stepdaughter Gayla Elder-Leak, stepson Bradford Elder; grandchildren Annelise Parham, Jared Lynch, and Nicholas Chambers; and great-grandchildren Theodore William Kahn and Margaret Kahn, Sean Michael Elder and Priscilla Gaboton. Funeral services are being privately held. A celebration of the life of William T. Brown is planned for Fall 2017. An award for theatre research has been established in his name. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to the UMBC Foundation (write William T. Brown Research Award in the memo line) 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250.
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