D. Nicholas Rudall, a longtime UChicago scholar and director who helped establish Court Theatre as one of the country’s premier theaters, died June 19 at age 78. He passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his daughter’s home in Tucson, Arizona after a hard-fought battle with cancer.
An award-winning translator of Greek plays and a beloved UChicago professor for 40 years, Rudall brought a love of poetry to the classroom and made ancient texts come to life for his students. He is also widely credited with the energy and artistic vision that first propelled Court Theatre onto the national scene.
In 1970, President Edward H. Levi asked Rudall to transform Court, which began as a community-based outdoor drama festival, into a professional theater. Rudall became artistic director of the theatre in 1972, and by the mid-1970s, the company had transitioned from working with students and community members to employing professional Equity actors.