(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, artistic director) today announced it will host a public celebration of the life and work of former Guthrie literary staff member and beloved dramaturg Michael “Miki” Lupu, who passed away on September 5, 2019. The memorial service will be held on Monday, October 14 at 5 p.m. on the Wurtele Thrust Stage with a reception to follow. Gifts made to the Guthrie Theater in memory of Lupu will be dedicated to funding Guthrie fellowship programs.
Lupu was a theater and film critic in his native Romania and worked in dramaturgy for over a decade (1960–1971) at the Bulandra Theatre of Bucharest before immigrating to the U.S. in 1972. In 1981, Lupu joined the Guthrie’s artistic staff, initially serving as outreach director and then working in the dramaturgy department under the leadership of artistic directors Liviu Ciulei, Garland Wright and Joe Dowling until his retirement in 2014.
An invaluable resource to the world of dramaturgy and the approach to theater text in America, Lupu spent the majority of his career in the Twin Cities, though his reach was international. He was one of the co-authors of the first American dramaturgy textbook, Dramaturgy in American Theater: A Source Book, and a recipient of the 2006 Lessing Award, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas’ highest honor. Lupu has been widely praised by the theater community for his depth of psychological knowledge, period detail and understanding of character relations.
“I knew Miki from my time as an acting company member at the Guthrie, and I recall his formidable intellect, his deep and incisive understanding of plays and his joyful and slightly wicked sense of humor,” said Artistic Director Joseph Haj. “It was wonderful to reconnect with Miki a handful of times since joining the Guthrie in 2015, and his impact on the Guthrie is lasting and will never be forgotten.”