Deceased February 8, 2017

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

The McMullan family is saddened to have to announce the loss of a loving husband, father, grandfather, “Uncle Bugs,” and a wonderful mentor and teacher besides. Bruce passed away surrounded by his wife and children at the age of 82 from a heart attack the week before, following a four-year battle against Parkinson’s and dementia.

Bruce was born in Philadelphia, the youngest of four children. From his youth, his passion was for the theater: summer shows at Theater in the Park, and performing at the Stagecrafters Theater in Philadelphia, which his parents had helped found.

After graduating from William Penn Charter School in 1952, this passion next took him to Amherst College and the Yale School of Drama graduating with distinction: B.A. ’56 and M.F.A. ’61, respectively.

His teaching career took him to the University of New Mexico, and then Dartmouth College, where he eventually became chair of the Drama Department in 1981. His summers found him directing productions for the Santa Fe Opera.

Wanting to return to the world of professional theater, Bruce followed Lotfi Mansouri’s invitation to Toronto in 1981 to become the Technical Director for the Canadian Opera Company for 18 years and continued on as a technical advisor for seven more.

Bruce’s illness necessitated that he move to Ottawa in 2015 to be closer to his immediate family. Meanwhile, his wife, Christine, a retired nurse, took on her old role to provide him the best possible care and quality of life.

Along the way, Bruce never failed to inspire and mentor people as he shared his love and genius for stagecraft. He leaves a profound legacy among all those he touched, and he will be dearly missed.

Bruce is survived by his wife Christine, ex-wife Veronica, his children Dana, Robin, and Christopher, and five grandchildren.

The McMullan Family

50th Reunion

Near the end of my long diatribe published in AMHERST Class Of 1956, REFLECTIONS 1956-1981 wrote: "At the end of this academic year I will pack my bags, move to Toronto, and begin my new life as technical director for the Canadian Opera Company." And so it came to pass, and so I remained until retiring at the end of 1999 (me and Yeltsin together). In that eighteen and a half year span I worked on hundreds of opera productions, traveled to Edinburgh, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and elsewhere, taught occasionally at Ryerson University, participated as a member of the design team for a new opera house for Toronto (currently under construction and slated to open in the Fall of 2006), and, oh yes, remarried and had another son.

56 Bruce McMullan
When I graduated from high school my year­book predicted that my ambition was to be a "producer" and my destiny was to be a "family man". They were dead on! Guess what I am most proud of, the list in the first paragraph above or being "a family man"? I suspect that I am not alone among my fellow "56'ers" in saying that the latter takes precedence over the former by a wide margin. Curiously enough, the liberal arts philosophy imparted at Amherst was of much greater value to me in my professional life than in raising a family. Do you remember that course Psychology 72: Family and Marriage that so many of us jumped on in our senior year? Now wasn't that a challenge for the instructor cocooned in an all-male environment? I got a "B" in that course; the grade in life skills is still out and will not be published in my lifetime.

I debated over which photo to send until I wrote the above when it became obvious that although the enclosed photo is a couple of years old it supports my wouldn't it be wonderful if the kids were not spread out literally from coast-to-coast?