REDMOND, Wash. — Former executive director of the University of Washington School of Drama and dramaturg for the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Barry Witham was born in Newcastle, Maine, the second of four children of the Rev. Cecil Witham and Afton Bates. He was educated at Tufts College (B.A. Magna Cum Laude 1961), the University of Iowa (M.A., 1964) and Ohio State University (PH. D., 1968).

Barry’s love of the theatre informed his life’s work and career goals. As a young man he acted in summer stock on Cape Cod and directed numerous productions at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He also developed a passionate interest in the history of theatre in the United States. In 1979 he was recruited to the University of Washington where he taught acting in the B.A. program and guided doctoral research in the Ph.D. program.

Barry was an outstanding teacher and won numerous awards at three universities. In 2002 he was honored by the University of Washington with its Distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2003 he was the recipient of the Betty Jean Jones prize given annually by the American Theatre and Drama Society for “outstanding teaching in American theatre and drama.” In 1998 he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

As a scholar he published his research in a variety of journals and anthologies. His book on the Federal Theatre Project focused on the Seattle unit of that ambitious WPA project and was widely praised and admired. His 2013 book on the Hedgerow Theatre in suburban Philadelphia was honored with the John Frick Award for “best book on American theatre” by the American Drama Society. His most recent monograph, “From Red-Baiting to Blacklisting: The Labor Plays of Manny Fried,” was recently published by Southern Illinois University Press.

He was predeceased by his wife Margaret (Peggy) Witham and is survived by his brother Nathan; sister Wendy and two sons Michael Bates Witham of New York City and Drake Sean Witham (Hazel) of Los Angeles; and two grandsons, Cormac Gray Witham and Cole Rainier Witham.

In lieu of a memorial service, donations can be made to the University of Washington School of Drama.