Chapter Fifteen


After an almost three-year run, Dracula closed in early January 1980.  Instead of having a fairly large weekly income, I suddenly found myself with no income at all.  I needed a job.  Mel Shapiro had recently taken over as chairman of the drama department at Carnegie Mellon University.  When he called and asked if I would be willing to teach scene design there, I jumped at the opportunity.  I had to fly to Pittsburgh for two days a week, but my salary was enough to pay for the apartment in New York.


At the end of my first year at Carnegie Mellon, I made the mistake of proposing to Mel Shapiro that we do a production of The Mikado with sets and costumes by Edward Gorey.  I knew that Edward, a great fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, had long wanted to design this show, and I thought it would be ideal for a school production.  Mel was in favor of the idea.  At the meeting of Edward and Mel in my apartment in New York, Edward's one request was that the production be a traditional one with no gimmicks.


Mel either forgot this request or chose to disregard it.   MORE...




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All writing, photography and illustration ©2016 John Wulp unless otherwise noted.