Heinrich Richard (Dick) Falk

Date of Birth

May 3, 1939

Date of Death

July 27, 2022

FALK, Heinrich Richard (Dick) Professor Emeritus of Theatre, scholar of 18th-century Spanish theatre and long time Santa Barbara resident, Heinrich Richard Falk died on 07/27/2022 . He was born on 3 May 1939 in Frankfurt/Main, Gemany, to Janet Elizabeth Prentice and Reverend Heinrich Wilhelm Karl Falk; he was the grandson of George Gordon Prentice and Janet Eleanor (Stirling) Prentice of New Haven, Connecticut, and San Diego, California. In 1947 the Falk family left Germany and moved to San Diego where Dick attended elementary and junior high school. In 1952 the family moved to Caracas, Venezuela where he completed high school in 1955 at the Colegio Americano. He received his undergraduate degree in Humanities and German from Wittenberg University (Ohio), and his Ph.D. in Theatre History and Classics from the University of Southern California in 1970. He was also a post-doctoral scholar in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He met his future wife, Evelyn Joyce Duncan, while they were both graduate students at USC and they were married in Los Angeles in 1965. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their home in Santa Barbara in 2015. Dick taught for 40 years in the Theatre Department of California State University, Northridge. He served as Acting Department Chair on two occasions and was the Director of Graduate Theatre Studies for over 25 years. He was Coordinator of the CSUN International Programs, served as the university representative to the statewide CSU Academic Council on International Programs for many years, and in 1986-87 served as the Resident Director for the CSU International Programs in Madrid and Granada, Spain. He also served as the Coordinator of the university Humanities Interdisciplinary Program and taught courses in Humanities for many years. In 1993 Dick was a Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where he lectured on Latin American theatre and directed graduate students in the production of several Latin American plays. This led in 1999 to his organizing the first CSUN theatre production to travel to China and initiated a continuing series of theatrical exchanges with the Shanghai Theatre Academy. An invitation in 2004 from a former student to direct the inaugural production at the new Punchi Theatre in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was followed by a subsequent appointment as a Fulbright Scholar to teach and direct in the English Department of the University of Sri Jaywardenepura in Sri Lanka. An appointment as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in 2011 took him to Korea, at the Seoul Institute of the Arts, where he served as an advisor and consultant to their international programs. Fellowships and grants over the years from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Del Amo Foundation (Los Angeles), Asian Cultural Council, American Council of Learned Societies, and CSUN supported research in the area of 18th-century Spanish teatro breve that resulted in the publication of several articles re-evaluating the role of popular theatre during the Spanish Enlightenment. Another area of interest that Dick pursued, through archival and oral history research in Spanish villages, was the role of touring theatre, particularly the Teatro del Pueblo during Spain’s Second Republic. Dick is survived by his wife, Evelyn Joyce Duncan Falk of Santa Barbara, California; brother, George (Ethel) of San Diego, CA; sister, Hanna Crim of St. Petersburg, FL; sister-in-law Julia Falk of Auburn, VA; and their families.


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