Longtime legit director
Kenneth Frankel, whose theatrical career spanned 25 years, died of a brain tumor Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 56.Frankel directed the award-winning Off Broadway production of “Quartermaine’s Terms” by Simon Gray, for which he won an Obie Award as best director. He directed more than 40 productions on Broadway, Off Broadway and in regional theaters, including “Old Times” by Harold Pinter at the Roundabout with Anthony Hopkins, Marsha Mason and Jane Alexander, and “Spoke Song” by Stewart Parker at the Circle in the Square. Other venues included the Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre, Yale Rep., Williamstown, Pasadena Playhouse and the Cleveland Playhouse. Frankel was resident director at Circle Rep., the associate artistic director at the Long Island Wharf Theatre for more than five years and the artistic director of the Dallas Shakespeare Festival for six years. He also served on the National Endowment for the Arts theater panel. A graduate of Northwestern U., he received the Tyrone Guthrie Fellowship and worked with Sir Guthrie as an assistant in the early years of The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. In 1990, he began a television career that included directing for “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.” He is survived by his wife, Donna Isaacson, senior VP of casting of feature films for 20th Century Fox; a daughter, his father, stepmother, two brothers and one sister. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Temple Isaiah, 10345 West Pico Blvd. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in the name of Kenneth Frankel to the Manhattan Theatre Co., 113 43rd Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10036.