A few years ago, it was my pleasure to meet and briefly talk with Martin E. Segal, who established the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the CUNY Graduate Center in 2000. Mr. Segal was a gentleman of the old school (the Segal Theatre Center seems to attract them), generous and gregarious in conversation, and without doubt dedicated to not only preserving the art of theatre but to providing a proving ground for its future innovators as well. Numberless theatre artists owe him a great debt (as do I; it was the Segal Center that co-produced my Howard Barker event in 2010 with my theatre minima company). As do, for that matter, many New Yorkers: he served as chairman of Lincoln Center from 1981 to 1986 and founding president and chief executive of the Film Society of Lincoln Center from 1968 to 1978, among many other cultural roles.
Mr. Segal passed away on Sunday at his New York home, and the New York City theatre world will be poorer for his absence, as proven by Robin Pogrebin’s obituary for the New York Times here. This, and that of the Segal Center’s Daniel Gerould in February, are irreplaceable losses.