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|William N. Rudman '73|
Bill Rudman became the youngest graduate to receive the Alumni Achievement Award. He is cited for his contributions to the arts in northeastern Ohio, and his expanding influence on the national arts scene in his many consulting roles. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hiram College, Bill Rudman might best be described as “passionate” about theatre arts and music. While most of us simply enjoy the theatre, he lives it … while finding innovative ways to nurture and educate thousands of people about its attributes.
Anyone familiar with the arts in Cleveland is aware of Bill Rudman. He has been a driving force in the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, including serving for the last several years as its associate director. In addition to running the show back stage, Bill has expanded the Festival’s outreach and educational programs to the point that they now serve as a model for theatre companies throughout the country. He has been recognized with numerous media and cultural awards, including several from Northern Ohio Live. He was the winner of the magazine theatre award for a three-day national symposium he and the Great Lakes Theatre organized as a tribute to playwright George Abbott’s 100th birthday.
He also won a special achievement award from Northern Ohio Live for coordinating FESTIVAL FANTASTICO!...a five-month celebration of Hispanic culture in northern Ohio. The festival incorporated more than 50 local organizations and 130 events around the Great Lakes Theatre production of Blood Wedding, written by Federico Garcia Lorca.
In 1992-93, Bill Rudman was again a Northern Ohio Live magazine winner, but this time in the popular music category. The magazine cited his ten-year music program entitled “Broadway Melody” heard Saturday nights on radio station WCLV. His current program is a slightly more sophisticated version of the one he did during his undergraduate days on the Hiram radio station. Bill Rudman also deserves credit for convincing jazz legend Peggy Lee to record previously unpublished songs by jazz and blues composer Harold Allen. The album entitled “Love Held Lightly,” was critically acclaimed and marked another professional triumph for both Lee and Bill Rudman.
Bill Rudman has not forgotten his academic roots. He has stayed close to his alma mater, appearing on campus to lecture or take part in special events, hiring both interns and graduates to work with him, and inviting Hiram faculty to lecture before and after Great Lakes Festival productions.
Bill Rudman is a man of high energy, high standards, and strong conviction. His personal crusade to promote the best that classical theatre has to offer, and his determination to perpetuate these standards across a wide spectrum of the Northeastern Ohio community, are worthy of recognition and tribute by his alma mater.