|» Former President of OISTAT Dr. Helmut Großer passed away on May 23rd, 2010—a sad message from DTHG|
|» OISTAT regrets the loss of Helmut Großer - Louis Janssen|
|» HELMUT GROSSER: “AMERICAN IDOL” - from Joel E. Rubin|
|» In Memory of Helmut Großer - from Jarmila Gabrielová|
|» Helmut, a great mentor for the next generation of OISTAT leaders - by Maija Pekkanen|
|» Helmut Grosser was my friend - from Michael Ramsaur|
|» IN MEMORIAM – HELMUT GROSSER from John Faulkner|
|» Helmut Grosser was a vital part of the bond between USITT and OISTAT in the early years - from Len Auerbach|
|» A historic contribution - from Richard Pilbrow|
I write these words with longing after hearing of the passing of Helmut Grosser. I relate these stories as examples of Helmut, the person who became my friend and who remains with me in my heart as a friend. I first met Helmut when I was 22 years old and came to Germany to work, and to learn the physical and managerial operations of the large German Opera Houses. I was visiting various cities with no introductions. I knocked on the stage door of the Cologne Opera House and explained to the doorman that I would like to see the theatre and its equipment. After being told to sit and wait, some minutes later Helmut Grosser the technical director came to the door and proceeded to give me and my wife a 45 minute tour of his “house”, explaining much to me about the equipment, operations and repertory. OISTAT, BTR, and internationalism were never mentioned but Helmut took the time to patiently explain the nuts and bolts of the theatre’s operations to me. Clearly a busy man in an important job, and he made time to talk to a young boy he did not know but was interested in technical theatre. This was my introduction to the kind of man that was Helmut Grosser.
As time went on, I discovered the pleasure of reading the Bühnentechnische Rundshau magazine, which Helmut edited, and it’s extensive coverage of theatres in Germany old and new. Through the BTR coverage of OISTAT, Helmut explained to me internationalism and the importance of international communication, particularly at the time between East and West. From Helmut’s introduction of Internationalism and Joel Rubin’s invitation to actually attend an OISTAT meeting, I became committed to such communication. By attending OISTAT meetings and having regular contact with Helmut I developed what I considered a precious friendship with him and his beloved wife Rosemarie, visiting them often at their home outside Munich.
Two memories of Helmut come to mind; both are personal because the memories included my children. Helmut made a USITT Master Class tour to the United States in 1973 and I, along with Randy Earle, was able to host he and Rosmarie when he spoke to San Francisco Bay area students. My fondest memory of that visit was driving the Pacific coast with Helmut and Rosmarie; the two of them hand in hand with my two year old daughter walking the headlands and looking at the wild Pacific Ocean. Many years later my family was visiting with Helmut and Rosmarie at Christmas time. My two children were enchanted with the miniature Christmas Village, carefully decorated by Rosmarie, and constructed in a window by Helmut with the Munich snow of their yard as a backdrop. It became a Ramsaur family tradition since then to have such a village at Christmas, but alas without the Munich snow.
The Professional accomplishments of Helmut Grosser as Technical Director at the Opera Houses in Cologne and Munich, as editor of the Bühnentechnische Rundshau, and as President of OISTAT were great, but to me his greatest accomplishments were personal. Helmut taught many colleagues an enormous amount about theatre and friendship, and I cherish the friendship we had, and I will miss him.
Professor, Stanford University
Immediate Past President, current Vice President OISTAT