Harvey Scott McMillin Jr., professor of English, dies at 71

Harvey Scott McMillin Jr., professor of English at Cornell University, died March 29. He was 71. A member of the Cornell faculty since 1964, McMillin's areas of interest included Elizabethan and modern drama and, more recently, American musical theater.

A memorial service for family, friends and colleagues will be held in Sage Chapel on the Cornell campus on May 6 at 10 a.m.

McMillin's books include "The Musical as Drama" (to be published in fall 2006). His earlier books include "The Queen's Men and Their Plays, 1583-1603," "Shakespeare in Performance: Henry IV, Part One" and "The Elizabethan Theatre and the Book of Sir Thomas More."

He also published numerous book chapters and articles, and at the time of his death, he was working on two further books, conference presentations and several scholarly essays.

During his Cornell career, McMillin received the Clark Distinguished Teaching Award in 1972, and in 1998, he was co-recipient of the Sohmer-Hall Prize for "Queen's Men," which honors the best work of early English theater and staging. He earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Philosophical Society and served as a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America. He also was a member of the Variorum Shakespeare Committee of the Modern Language Association.

At the time of his death, he was a consultant to "Shakespeare and the Queen's Men," a theatrical experiment to stage plays as they were performed in Elizabethan times. He was an early advocate and practitioner of investigating parish and municipal records to locate documentary evidence of early dramatic performance throughout England. His work contributed to a broader understanding of Elizabethan drama by focusing on production conditions, including staging, actors, finances and the social context of performances, as well as on the authors and texts of the plays.

In 1990 McMillin was the co-founder of the Harlem Literacy Project (now the Youth-to-Youth Literacy Program). He also was a faculty fellow at Ujamaa Residential College and Risley College and supported such student activism as the 1969 protests that led to the creation of the Africana studies program at Cornell, the anti-apartheid divestment protests of the 1980s and the recent Redbud Woods protest.

He is survived by Sally, his wife of 49 years, three sons and three grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to the Tompkins County Friends of the Library, Loaves and Fishes of Tompkins County or the Committee on U.S. Latin America Relations.

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