Randy Wyatt recalled for 'power of doing good'

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Randy Wyatt

Randy Wyatt

Randy Wyatt, associate professor and chair of theater and dance, is being remembered as a prolific playwright and director, a welcoming mentor and an advocate for theater for social change.

Wyatt, who served as artistic director of Yulman Theater, passed away May 10, 2023 after a long illness. He was 51.

Wyatt joined the College in 2019 after having served for 12 years as director of the theater program at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich. At Aquinas, he launched a major in theater for social change and developed programming with partner organizations that intersected with African-American, Latinx and LGBT+ communities. He also directed dozens of productions for theaters in the region.

“To all of us at Union, he was a role model for generosity, kindness, equanimity, and belief in the power of doing good in the world and in the vitality of theatre,” said Dan Venning, assistant professor of theater and dance. “Randy was a passionate advocate for LGBTQIA2S+ students at Union and made the Theater and Dance department a home for so many marginalized young people,” Venning added.

Wyatt taught classes in directing, playwriting and devising. He brought a number of artists to Union to work with students. Many of those artists had been mentored by Wyatt.

In his brief tenure at Union, he directed a number of productions including “The Sex Habits of American Women” and “Act a Lady.” During the pandemic, he developed an on-line reading of his new play, “Anne of Green Gables Murders Everyone,” and staged a pandemic performance of Euripides’ “The Trojan Women” in Jackson’s Garden with actors in masks.

A native of Marshfield, Mass., he earned a B.A. in English and speech from Cornerstone University, and an M.F.A. in directing from Minnesota State University – Mankato.

Survivors include two siblings, Michelle Thuma and Paul Wyatt; and his parents, Robert Wyatt and Corinne DeGraff. He was predeceased by a brother, Mitchell.

Arrangements are to be announced.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trevor Project, the Clean Water Campaign for Michigan or a local animal shelter.

Wyatt’s obituary has been posted online.