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|Subject: Rae Creevey, 69; Lighting Director for Stage and TV Co-Founded East West Players|
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Date Posted: April 04, 2003 1:21:10 EDT
Rae Creevey, a co-founder of East West Players and a longtime producing director for the seminal Asian American theater company, has died. He was 69.
Creevey, who was also the set and lighting designer for the company, died Sunday of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He had been in ill health since 1991, when he suffered a stroke.
In 1965, Creevey became the only non-Asian American in a group of eight people who founded East West Players. The group spent years in a 99-seat space on east Santa Monica Boulevard that Creevey helped build. East West moved to Little Tokyo in 1998.
Creevey had known two of the other co-founders, Beulah Quo and James Hong, since they hired him as a technical director and stage manager for a Chinese-language production.
Among Creevey's East West credits were the group's initial production of "Rashomon," a 1978 production of "Pacific Overtures" and the hit play "And the Soul Shall Dance." He also worked at other Los Angeles theaters, including the Inner-City Cultural Center, Equity Library Theatre West and Room for Theatre.
Even after his stroke, Creevey designed the lighting for several East West productions. In 1999, he received a career achievement award at the L.A. Weekly theater awards.
Creevey also worked at ABC for more than three decades. He was the head lighting designer for "General Hospital" for 11 years. He received an Emmy nomination for his lighting. He won an Emmy in sound engineering for a 1984 Olympics broadcast.
Mako, East West's original artistic director, said Creevey was a valuable sounding board for directors and was adamant and precise about his lighting. He recalled an incident in which an Asian American assistant stage manager complained about Creevey's supervision and mentioned his race (Creevey was of mixed European heritage). Mako said he told the assistant stage manager, "If you challenge him on that level, I'll pounce on you personally."
Born in Seattle, Creevey attended the University of Washington and became involved in student productions and other Seattle theater. He moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
He is survived by his wife, Janellen Steininger.
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