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    Posted July 20, 2006

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Cynthia Poulson

Actors, Students Mourn Passing of Cynthia Poulson, Milwaukee Stage Manager

Memorial Scholarship Set Up at University of Wisconsin

Cindy Poulson

Cindy Poulson passed away from heart failure at her home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 27, 2006. She was most recently an Associate Professor and Head of Stage Management at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also served as Production Stage Manager for Milwaukee Repertory Theater and Syracuse Stage. As a freelance stage manager, she worked at some of the great off-Broadway theaters including LaMama ETC and Playwrights' Horizons. Some of her favorite projects were collaborations with artists such as Ping Chong, Ken Albers, Tadashi Suzuki, Maria Irene Fornes, Amlin Gray, Romulus Linney, Jean Stapleton, Sandy Dennis, Eli Wallach, and John Cullum, as well as resident company at Milwaukee Rep and her student companies at UWM. She mentored countless theater artists and was active in USITT. She joined Actors' Equity in 1976.

A Memorial Service was held on Monday, July 10, 2006 at the Powerhouse Theatre at Milwaukee Rep. In her eulogy, Paulette Callen wrote:

    No one loved life more or used it so well. She was interested in everything, knew something about almost everything, and she cared about the important things. Wherever she worked, in whatever neighborhood she lived, she knew the names of everybody's kids and all their animals. In a mid-town New York restaurant she engaged in conversation as easily and with as much delight with the waiter as with the celebrity at the next table. She was warm and funny; she could be sharp and funny but never mean spirited, never cruel. The glow of sweetness in her face was surprising in one so strong; it is most evident in her photos, shining there, a light from her face. She cherished her friends and had more than any one of us probably imagined. If a measure of one's life is the friends one leaves behind, then she set a gold standard. She honored her father and mother in life and in memory. She loved her animals, her students, her art, her books, places she'd been; a good dinner, a fine wine. Kurt and Cherie were the lights of her heart. Not a day will pass for the rest of my life that I won't miss her.

Cindy was involved with animal welfare, HIV/AIDS service, and women's shelter groups. She is survived by her brother Kurt and sister-in-law Cherie Poulson. A memorial scholarship fund has been set up in her name at UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts. Further information is available at

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