Beloved local theater fixture Dan Gerrity passed away yesterday of an apparent heart attack.
The also news director for KSFR was currently working on the Santa Fe Playhouse’s upcoming production of A Christmas Carol.
“I’ve been here nine years—and Dan was around most of those years,” KSFR station manger George Weston tells SFR. “He was a sensitive, humorous, high-energy man who I appreciated as a friend and as a professional.”
In keeping with the old theater saying, Weston says the station will continue Gerrity’s Noon News segment, “because that’s what we’re all about and that’s what Dan was all about.”
On Friday morning, Weston says, special tribute edition of Santa Fe Radio Café will air in honor of Gerrity.
Yesterday, the Santa Fe Playhouse issued the following statement:
Dan Gerrity lit up the stage of the Santa Fe Playhouse for many years and served as a member of its board for the last six. In that time, he became the driving force behind the Playhouse’s effort to showcase local writing, directing, and acting talent, primarily through the annual Benchwarmers production.
He brought tenacious intelligence and exuberant poise to all these efforts, raising the bar—and everyone’s expectations—about what community theater could and should be. We at the Playhouse are grateful to have known Dan as an actor, director, producer, mentor, colleague, and above all, friend.
Next to the word Presence in anyone’s mind is Dan Gerrity. His Loss will be felt not just at “the longest running theatre west of the Mississippi,” but to the Stage and Cinema World at large.
We will never be the same.
Eliot Gray Fisher, who served with Garrity on the Playhouse board, tells SFR that "the cast of A Christmas Carol has been mourning privately and the Playhouse board will be consulting with them soon about whether and how to move forward."
"Personally," Fisher continues, "I can say that it was a joy working with Dan on the board, and he was not only insightful about artistic concerns large and small as far as productions, promotional materials, and the multimedia elements he single-handedly brought into our productions, but, most importantly, he had an intimate understanding of the community for whom he was passionate about working for, in every aspect of his life—including at the Playhouse."
Several phone calls to SFR’s culture desk have lauded him as a “wonderful person,” one “filled with charisma and love.”
May he rest in peace.
Image via Facebook.
UPDATE 12/11: Adhering to theater lore, the show went on. Read a dispatch from opening night of the Santa Fe Playhouse's production of A Christmas Carol here.