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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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WARING, James D. (Dubuque, IA-Washington, D.C.). Waring, a graduate of both LORAS ACADEMY and LORAS COLLEGE, directed critically acclaimed theatrical productions from Chicago to Ireland. Raised on Bluff Street, he attended LORAS ACADEMY before taking postgraduate studies at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. where he then taught for forty years.

Waring staged productions and designed scenery and lighting at CUA and at Olney Theatre where he was the executive producer from 1969 to 1984 and artistic director from 1985 to 1989. He also directed and designed for Ford's Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the Washington Opera Society, the National Cathedral and National Players. In the 1960s and 1970s, his productions were seen in Dublin, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

A well-respected lighting designer, Waring served as a theater consultant to the White House and designed the lights around the bier of the slain President John F. KENNEDY.

Professor Waring had a special appreciation for Irish drama. In 1966-67, he achieved notice for his staging of the American premiere of the Irish writer Hugh Leonard’s Stephen D at Olney Theatre and off-Broadway. The play was an adaptation of James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The production was one of many collaborations between Mr. Waring and Mr. Leonard, who became one of Ireland's leading playwrights. Mr. Waring directed the premiere of Leonard's Da at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1973, at Olney and at Chicago’s Ivanhoe Theatre.

Waring designed the sets and lighting for almost every production at CUA for nearly twenty-five years, including those of the drama department's touring affiliate, National Players.

Waring frequently worked in two or three theaters at one time. Between 1953 and 1992, he directed 75 plays at the Olney Theatre alone. He also designed scenery and lighting for these and many others. Among the many well-known actors with whom he worked over the years were Philip Bosco, Olympia Dukakis, Dana Elcar, George Grizzard, Pauline Flanagan, Malachy McCourt, Susan Sarandon, Frances Sternhagen and Sam Wanamaker.



Williams, Gary,, "A Farewell to Drama Department Greats," Online: http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/news/drama.htm