Archiver > IRISH-IN-CHICAGO > 2008-01 > 1201133137

From: Nan Brennan <>
Subject: [IRISH-IN-CHICAGO] Trahey started Loyola theatre program
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 18:05:37 -0600

Note:There were Traheys from Ireland in Chicago at least as early as

Obituaries |John T. Trahey Jr.: 1933 - 2008 Created Loyola theater

By Patricia Trebe Special to Tribune January 23, 2008

Before 1968, students interested in theater and drama at Loyola
University Chicago were limited in their choices because the school
had neither a department nor a theater.

Dr. John T. Trahey Jr., then a Jesuit priest and a professor at the
college, deeply felt the void. He approached university trustee
Walter J. Mullady and the two joined forces to construct the Kathleen
Mullady Theater, which became the centerpiece of an emergent theater

"Jack is responsible for the establishment of the theater department
[at Loyola]," said Sarah Gabel, chairman of the department of Fine
and Performing Arts who was hired by Dr. Trahey. "It really was
Jack's prodding that did it. I understand he went directly to the
Mulladys and he was part of fundraising and did everything he could
to get a suitable theater to be established on Loyola's campus. And
he established the department and the major."

Dr. Trahey, 74, of Chicago died of cancer Wednesday, Jan. 16, in
Seasons Hospice in Chicago.

Dr. Trahey served as department chair from its inception until 1971.
He returned to the chairmanship of the department from 1986 until
1993. He taught for 40 years at Loyola, until the middle of November.

"He loved the theater and he loved teaching, and out of that came a
deep commitment and love for his students," Gabel said. "It wasn't
him standing in front of students that was important to him; it was
students growing that was important to him."

Born and raised on Chicago's South Side, Dr. Trahey graduated in 1951
from St. Ignatius High School, where he was a star debater.

Dr. Trahey made a decision when he was young to become a Jesuit
priest. He was ordained in 1963 and taught at a high school in
Cleveland. He was told to take over the drama department and found a
true calling, his family said.

He returned to the Chicago area in the 1960s. While he taught at
Loyola he earned his doctorate in theater from Northwestern
University in the late 1960s.

In 1970 he left the priesthood and remained at Loyola as a professor.

Dr. Trahey's love of the theater crossed oceans, said his wife,
Catherine, whom he married in 1973.

"For 12 years in the 1980s and 1990s he was head of the educational
part of Sam Wanamaker's Midwest Globe Theatre organization, which was
responsible for rebuilding the Globe Theater in London," she said.

He also translated several works of contemporary French plays and
organized the Contemporary French Theatre Festival, which was
sponsored by the French Consulate in Chicago.

Other survivors include daughters Mary and Theresa; sons John and
Patrick; sister Rose Breckenridge; brother Joseph; and two
grandchildren. Services were held.

Copyright © 2008, Chicago Tribune

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