Theater to be named in memory of Frank Kinahan
The Reynolds Club third-floor theater will be named the Francis X. Kinahan Theater at a celebration in memory of Kinahan, Associate Professor in English Language & Literature, who died in February. The celebration will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in the Reynolds Club north lounge. The dedication ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.
"Frank was the guiding genius who revived University Theater from a small, nondescript group of students who wanted to put on plays into one of the most vital student activities on campus," said Herman Sinaiko, Professor in the Humanities. "Putting his name on the theater recognizes that Frank put 10 years of his life into shaping UT into what it is now."
The evening's program will begin with a reception featuring the Miva Quintet, a student chamber-music ensemble, followed by the dedication ceremony. Speakers will include President Sonnenschein; John Boyer, Dean of the College; Michael Schensul, chair of the UT student committee; and Sinaiko, who is the UT faculty adviser and chairman of the University Theater Board. Nicholas Rudall, Artistic Director of Court Theatre, will read poetry by William Butler Yeats, whose work was the focus of much of Kinahan's research.
"We hope the dedication will evoke the warmth and spirit of Frank Kinahan," said Bill Michel, Managing Director of University Theater. "And in true Frank fashion, anyone up for celebrating is welcome to attend."
The first performance in the newly named Kinahan Theater will be "A Tribute to Frank," which will be presented to a private audience of members and friends of University Theater immediately following the dedication ceremony. The show will be a sampling of University Theater's Mainstage season and routines from Off-Off-Campus, a group Kinahan was pivotal in forming.
Also in memory of Kinahan, the Francis X. Kinahan Memorial Fund has been created to recognize students involved in his areas of interest. In addition to his involvement with University Theater, Kinahan was known for his contributions to the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities and the Little Red Schoolhouse writing program. An expert in 19th- and 20th-century Irish poetry and literature, Kinahan was honored with the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1976.
The Francis X. Kinahan Memorial Fund will grant three prizes annually, with prizes going to the graduate-student lector in the Little Red Schoolhouse program who most reflects Kinahan's energy and commitment to teaching, to a graduating University Theater student who has made significant contributions to UT, and to the writer of the best A.B. project in the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities.
"Those who knew Frank understand what we have lost," said Joseph Williams, Professor in English Language & Literature and founder of Little Red Schoolhouse. "Those who did not know him still benefit from his work because of his great influence in shaping these programs. More than just remember him, we want to do something to celebrate his special contribution to his students, to the Schoolhouse and to the University."
For more information about the celebration or the memorial fund, call University Theater at 702-3414.