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Jarka M. Burian

Jarka M. Burian, an author and scholar noted for his work on the Czech theatre, died August 25, 2005 in Albany, New York from an aneurysm.

Mr. Burian taught at the State University of New York for almost four decades where he was named Professor Emeritus in 1992. He was producer-director of the university's Arena Summer Stage for eight seasons. He and his wife of 54 years, Grayce, also acted and directed in community theatres. After his retirement from SUNY Albany, Mr. Burian continued full-time adjunct teaching at other area colleges, as well as directed classics and staged readings. In 1998, he and his wife received a Regional Arts Award from the Albany-Schenectady League of Arts for their lifetime contributions to the arts.

Among Mr. Burian's extensive writings were many articles and book reviews for TD&T, Theatre Design & Technology. University of Iowa Press published his Modern Czech Theatre: Reflector and Conscience of a Nation in 2000, one of five book-length studies. His work was supported by Fulbright and Irex research grants, and he received a USITT Grant to help his registry project of Josef Svoboda's work which was completed in 2003.

Born in Passaic, N.J. in 1927, Mr. Burian served 18 months in the US Army with the troops of occupation in Germany, and was recalled to active duty in 1951 during the Korean Conflict. He was a graduate of Rutgers, received his master's from Columbia University, and his doctorate at Cornell University.

Mr. Burian was a champion swimmer, winning medals and ribbons throughout his life. Survivors include his wife, the former Grayce Susan DeLeon, and many nieces, nephews and family members. Burial was in National Veteran's Cemetery, Saratoga, New York.

A more complete tribute to Mr. Burian is expected in a future issue of TD&T.

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