We’re deeply saddened to report the passing of Orlin Corey, a talented theatre artist, a gifted publisher, a devoted supporter of NOCCA and The NOCCA Institute, and a thoroughly remarkable New Orleanian. Like his wife, Shirley Trusty Corey (pictured above with Orlin on the first day of Academic Studio classes in 2011), Orlin was an honorary lifetime member of Institute’s board of directors.
Orlin’s obituary is posted below.
Orlin Russel Corey, theatre artist and publisher, died October 11, 2015 following a stroke. He was 89. A gentle man of integrity and visionary talent, he will be greatly missed. A native of Oklahoma, he served in the Navy in World War II. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Baylor University studying with Paul Baker and Charles Laughton. He had advanced study at Britain’s Central School of Speech and Drama and further study at the University of London and University of Kentucky. He taught 8 years at Georgetown College, Kentucky, and 8 at Centenary College in Shreveport, La.
He founded and directed Everyman Players, a touring classical troupe, creating celebrated productions of Job, Electra, Romans, Pilgrim’s Progress, Quixote, and such children’s classics as Reynard the Fox and Tortoise and Hare. He led them through repeated New York and London seasons, and 24 years performing on four continents. They appeared at numerous international festivals receiving the American Theatre Association Jennie Heiden Award for Professional Theatre for Youth, and honors from the National Catholic Theatre Association and Britain’s Religious Drama Society.
Corey was producer of the American College Theatre Festival at J.F. Kennedy Center, Washington. He mounted national and international theatre festivals in Washington, Montreal-Albany, and the Louisiana World Expo (1984). In 1977 he became publisher of Anchorage Press, plays and text for youth theatre until his retirement in 2000.
Honors include Distinguished Alumnae Award, Baylor University; Induction into National Theatre Conference, New York City; Induction into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre; Dean of College of Fellows ; Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award, American Alliance for Theatre and Education; Founders Award, Educational Theatre Association; the Medallion Award, Children’s Theatre Foundation of America; AATE Orlin Corey Award of Artistic Excellence; and Honorary Lifetime Membership Award by Religious Drama Society (RADIUS) Great Britain.
Never a spectator, he was actively involved with national organizations serving on the board of the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America for 34 years, and as president for 25 years. The CTFA Medallion award was renamed the Orlin Corey Medallion in his honor in 2010. He was president of the US Center for ASSITEJ. Professional colleague and playwright emeritus, Susan Zeder, referred to him as “Dean of All that Matters.”
A nurturer of talents, he served on many boards including The NOCCA Institute (President 1996-98) and was an Honorary Lifetime Member. He served as an evaluator for Gifted/Talented Theatre programs in school districts throughout Southern Louisiana for over 40 years.
His lifelong fascination with history was initiated during his year-long recovery from infantile paralysis, at the age of 11, when he devoured a history of World War I and listened to radio speeches of Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler. He became a voracious reader. Such passion compelled him to research and present programs for The National WWII Museum. His Voices: 1914-1945, A Commemorative Concert has been presented at the WWII Museum on November 11 for the past 13 years. He was an active member of the Board of Directors of the Churchill Society of New Orleans and a frequent attender of International Conferences.
Preceded in death by his parents, Nada Patton and Lue A. Corey, and siblings Leland Corey and Ina Mae Corey Brewer. Survivors include his beloved wife of 40 years, Shirley Trusty Corey; niece Georgia Brewer Kilmartin (Alan) of Sherman Oaks, CA; and a wide circle of extended family and friends.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 631 State St., at noon on Thursday, October 15, with visitation from 11 a.m. to noon.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The NOCCA Institute, 2800 Chartres St., New Orleans or the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America (www.childrenstheatrefoundation.org).