Saturday, May 10, 2014

Reuben Silver, the crown prince of Cleveland theatre, remembered

The State Theatre marquee lights were dimmed on Saturday evening, May 10, from 8 to 8:15 in memory of Reuben Silver, who died on Thursday, May 8.  Reuben was 88 years old.

Reuben Silver was a brilliant actor, director and educator, but most important, he was a kind and caring human being.  His impish smile and twinkling eyes could make a character live on stage, and calm and encourage those who he came in contact with off-stage.

He was the artistic director of Karamu from 1955 to 1976, and professor and Chair of the Theatre Department at Cleveland State for 17 years.  He awed audiences with his performances on such stages as Dobama, Great Lakes Theatre, Ensemble, Cleveland State, and Actors’ Summit.

He and his wife, Dorothy, to whom he was married for 64 years, were deservedly Cleveland theatrical royalty.  

They were the consummate team. He often appeared with Dorothy on stage.  In some productions each would director the other.

The Silvers were recognized in 1984 with a Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts.  In 2012 they were recognized by the Cleveland Critics Circle for their “Outstanding Body of Work.”

Reuben’s presence will be missed by those of us who knew, admired and loved him for being such a special person, performer and friend! 

There is one less star in the local theatre community sky, and tears in many eyes, with his passing.

The details of a service celebrating Reuben’s life will be announced at a later date.

For an excellent article about Silver's life and career go to: