All posts by Howard Stein

After 38 years of university teaching and administrating, Howard Stein retired from Columbia University in 1992.  His career included 11 years at the Yale School of Drama, where he was Associate Dean and Supervisor of the Playwriting Program; seven years at the University of Iowa, where he supervised the Playwriting Program; and 10 years at Columbia University where he was appointed the first permanent Chairman of the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies and Supervisor of the Playwriting Program. Howard Stein's plays have appeared in The Best One-Act Plays of 1951-52 and The Best Short Plays of 1959-60.  Harcourt Brace published his book, A Time to Speak in 1974 and Scribner's recently published his essay on James M. Barry in their British Writers series. Dr. Stein's essays on dramatic criticism, dramatic literature, theatre history, and dramaturgy have appeared in a host of journals since the 1950's.  He has directed National Endowment Summer Seminars for College Teachers 10 times since 1979. He finished an essay on Brander Matthews and, until 1997, had been co-editing The Best American Short Plays series published by Applause Books and he completed a gig at Bradley University, where he gave five speeches in three days. [Publisher's Note: Howard Stein was born on the Fourth of July -- and he died October 14, 2012 in Stamford, CT. He was 90.]


Writing a Journal of Memories: The Education of a Teacher

[Publisher’s Note: What you see on this page is the beginning of a publication project Dr. Howard Stein was preparing for David Boles Blogs in the year 2000 upon the celebration of the occasion of his birth — July 4 — when he was 78-years-old. We have unearthed this early draft of — The Howard Stern Journal of Memories — and we share it with you today so you may not only enjoy Dr. Stein’s wisdom, but also revel in the revision process you can see below in an image of his typewritten submission. You may view a larger size of the image on the Howard Stein Archive Page.

Howard’s health began to nag him as the days aged, and he never returned to this project, but you may still read a lot of Dr. Stein’s work here, there and elsewhere. Howard Stein died on October 12, 2012 of heart failure. He was 90. We miss him every moment of every notion and it is amazing that 15 years after he wrote this for us, Howard is still publishing with us from the grave. Howard Stein always said he was “born lucky” — and so, too, are we lucky to have this article! — but this is his story.]

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David Boles University

The University as Hospital: An Inalienable Obligation

[Publisher’s Note: Howard Stein, Boles Blogs author and inspiration, died at age of 90 on October 14, 2012 in Stamford, Connecticut. This article now appears in print as an equalizing effort to preserve Dr. Stein’s teaching and thinking as David Boles shares this, and other works, from his private Prairie Voice archive. Howard wrote this article in the Spring of 1984 and, 30 years later, the lessons are still ripe and rich and damning.] 

For those suffering the wounds of life, the university has become a hospital.  For the woman in her middle forties whose husband has left her for “a young thing” after twenty-four years of marriage and four children, the university is the first thought where she may go for help.

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David Boles University

The Most Intelligent Alternative: In Defense of the Public Good

[Publisher’s Note: Boles Blogs author Howard Stein died on October 14, 2012 at 90 years of age.  In an ongoing effort to preserve his legacy and memory, David Boles is sharing articles and preserving other works from his private Prairie Voice archive. The following article was likely written by Dr. Stein in the early 1980’s — and his point still rings true, and still bites us with a bitter hardness of the flat truth — three decades later.]

Public education in the minds of the parents, schoolboards, teachers, and local politicians seems to have as its purpose either the preparing of the young for higher education (preferably private education), or the preparing of the young for a variety of jobs and trades.

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PanopticonicScientific Aesthetic

Dr. Howard Stein on Why Playwrights Must Experiment with the Audience

[Author’s Note: This is a portion of a speech I gave to the Southeast Theatre Conference in 2000.]

In Robert Aulett’s play, Alberta Radiance, Alberta speaks the opening like, “I have this human life to live, and I don’t know what to do with it.”  The operative word is human, as in “the human condition,” “the human predicament” or “the human comedy.”  When we utter such expressions, we assume the listener knows what we mean, but in my 78 years of living, I have never heard anyone explain what that “human” condition, predicament, comedy or life is.

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Urban Semiotic

Dr. Howard Stein on Golf and the Principle of Consideration

It’s spring, and an old man’s fancy turns to thoughts of golf.  My thoughts concentrate on three conditions that no longer seem to exist, neither in golf nor in the society.  Golf, as the game was designed and expected to be played, is out of sync, out of joint, with the society determined to paralyze the game.

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David Boles UniversityScientific Aesthetic

Dr. Howard Stein and the Habit of Intelligent Choice

At the end of the nineteenth century, in a graduation speech to Barnard College graduates, William James made the following statement:

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United Stage

Dr. Howard Stein on Owning the Subject

In a conversation with Robert Chapman many years ago, he who was the co-author of the play, Billy Budd, and the director of the Loeb Theatre at Harvard University, I mentioned a playwright whose work seemed limited to me.

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