Sam McCready, well-beloved former professor of theatre who mentored the careers of dozens of UMBC students, passed away on February 10 at the age of 82.
During his years at the university, Mr. McCready directed thirty productions, beginning with The Boys from Syracuse by Rodgers and Hart in 1984, and ending with Shakespeare’s Macbeth in 2001. He helped foster the growing Theatre Department’s reputation for exceptionally high-quality, imaginative performances. Three of his productions — The Importance of Being Oscar by Micheal Mac Liammóir (1986), Spring’s Awakening by Frank Wedekind (1987), and The Diary of a Scoundrel by Alexander Ostrovsky (1996) — were invited to the finals of the American College Theater Festival at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As an actor with the Maryland Stage Company, he was particularly noted for his interpretation of roles by Samuel Beckett, which he performed internationally. Born in 1932 in Ireland, Mr. McCready was a founding member of the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, and also taught at University College of North Wales, and Stranmillis Training College.
Last month, many of Mr. McCready's former UMBC students, colleagues, and friends traveled to Baltimore from around the country to visit him in hospice, sharing stories and reminiscences. He is survived by his wife, Joan, and son, Richard. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 9, 1:30 p.m., at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, 10689 Owen Brown Road, Columbia, MD.
“In lieu of flowers, we are asking that people make a contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation,” says Richard. “My father adored nature, and planting trees in his honour would be the most appropriate way to remember him.”