Danny Michaelson taught costume design and conflict resolution at Bennington College for thirty years. After he retired he also taught courses there for five years more. He was Dean of Studies from 1992 to 1994. He also was Co-director with Susan Sgorbati of Quantum Leap, a program for truants and at-risk students in Bennington County. He had also mediated for the Vermont Department of Education, and the Bennington Small Claims Court. He died on December 6, 2018 of an apparent heart attack. There is a memorial service for him at the college on Sunday, April 28 at 2pm.
Since I taught at Bennington College, I have many wonderful memories of Danny. However, the ones that are most personal are when Danny, Steven Kramer from Literature, and I taught a three week course on King Lear as part of a unique freshman course all the faculty were engaged in teaching. We not only read voluminous works about Lear, but watched all available films in preparation. I still remember Danny saying as we watched Orson Welles’ Lear, “He said that line wrong.” which indeed he had.
We had such a good time, the three of us taught a seven week course on The Family Drama. As a part of the course, Danny and I took the students to the Stratford Festival in Ontario since they were performing some of the plays we taught.
Of course, when Bob and I had our radio program Theatre Talk, we had to interview Danny which we did three times. The last time we talked about theatre audiences with Danny, Jeanne Davis and Bruce Wheat. We are happy to share these programs with you.