It has been exactly a year since I first visited the historic Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park, Dallas. This was also, oddly enough, the same night I met Matt Tomlanovich, who passed away a couple of weeks ago.
The first time I met Mr. Tomlanovich and told him that I was writing a final thesis paper for a class of mine on the work of Ms. Jones, he stopped everything he was doing to talk to me and to teach me more of the history of Dallas and Dallas theatre. He was so kind, genuine, honest, MODEST and of course, a wealth of knowledge.
After going home and doing more research, I soon became madly inspired and humbled by this man, who devoted his life to teaching and revitalizing the theatre. He connected me with all kinds of others who helped me with my research. After reading more about the way he rebirthed the Margo Jones Theatre to be an incubator space for new works and to help small companies that couldn’t find affordable spaces in town, an idea popped into my head that would soon become the crux of my Engaged Learning project this year at SMU.
Just like Margo Jones, Matt was a pioneer of the American theatre. Thank you for the way you inspired me and for everything you taught me in the short amount of time. Rest in Peace.
For more information about the work of Matt Tomlanovich, I’ve written a small dedication on the Meadows website to honor his legacy.