DeMarcus Brown, professor emeritus of the University of Pacific’s theater program, died March 24 of natural causes. He was 99.
Brown supervised the U of Pacific’s theater program from 1924 to 1969, producing 360 plays under his direction.
He began as a professor in 1924, following the College of the Pacific when it moved to Stockton. Amid the Great Depression of the 1930s, Brown oversaw the effort to build an outdoor Greek Amphitheater on the Pacific campus.
In the 1960s the theater and Brown upgraded facilities to the Playbox, a building just south of the campus. Brown was also a part of summer productions at the Fallon House Theater beginning in 1949.
Brown mentored many young actors, including Jo Van Fleet, who won a supporting actress Oscar for her performance in “East of Eden.”
He received an honorary doctorate from Pacific, as well as the highest honor the school bestows, the Order of Pacific. He was also lauded as an American Theatre Fellow by the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, and as a “STAR” by the Stockton Arts Commission. His name graces the 119-seat studio theater located within the drama building at Pacific.
He is survived by his daughter, Marcia.
Donations may be made to the DeMarcus Brown Endowed Professorship, U. of Pacific, Advancement Services, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211; The Altar Society Guild of St. John’s Church, 316 N. El Dorado, Stockton, 95202; or St. Mary’s Interfaith Dining Room, P.O. Box 133, Stockton, CA 95201
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. April 7 in Morris Chapel on the U. of Pacific campus.