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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

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In Arts & Entertainment

Theater veteran and Marquette University professor Phylis Ravel died Nov. 6.

Milwaukee theater community mourns Phylis Ravel's passing


Phylis Ravel, who guided countless students to careers in theater as the head of the Theatre Arts program at Marquette University, has died after a long bout with cancer.

Ravel was an actress and playwright, but she was best known as an educator who believed that all arts could help move this country toward social justice. She was drawn to works that explored social issues and advocated for changes.

Students who worked under her direction were held to rigorous standards and real-world experiences that prepared them for careers.

Hollywood to Broadway and many places in between have become home for many of the graduates of her program. She has sent actors to some of the best theaters this country has.

With a ready smile and her shock of gray hair, she was a striking figure in the arts program at Marquette. She was a member of both Actor's Equity and the Screen Actors Guild and used her professional connections to help students get jobs or be admitted to prestigious graduate programs throughout the country.

With her husband David, who programs the Alverno Presents series at Alverno College, she founded and ran the Brooklyn Playworks theater company from 1984 to 1990.

Ravel died Nov. 6. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 19 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 1100 N. Astor St.

Memorials to the Phylis Ravel Theater and Social Justice Fund at Marquette University are suggested. They may be sent to University Advancement, Marquette University, 1250 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233.


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