Lyn Austin, founder and producing director of Music-Theatre Group, was killed when struck by an automobile in New York City on Oct. 29. She was 78.
Austin founded MTG in 1971. Over the years, the avant-garde not-for-profit theater company staged such cutting-edge fare as the Stanley Silverman/Tom Hendry/Richard Foreman play “Doctor Selavy’s Magic Theater”; Bill Irwin and Doug Skinner’s “The Courtroom”; Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal’s “Juan Darien”; Martha Clarke and Richard Peaslee’s “Vienna: Lusthaus”; Eve Ensler’s “Cinderella/Cendrillon”; and Diedre Murray, Cornelius Eady and Diane Paulus’ “Running Man.”
In 1976, MTG brought Eve Merriam’s “The Club” to Circle in the Square, an Off Broadway production that marked Tommy Tune’s debut as a stage director.
Prior to MTG, Austin was executive director of the Berkshire Theatre Festival and founder of the Lenox Arts Center. In the 1950s and ’60s, she was an associate producer to Roger L. Stevens on such Broadway productions as Robert Anderson’s “Tea and Sympathy,” Jean Kerr’s “Mary Mary,” Arthur Kopit’s “Oh, Dad, Poor Dad,” and Tennessee Williams’ “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore” as well as many others. Austin was also associate producer on the original 1960 production of Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man.”
Off Broadway, she teamed with Oliver Smith and Seymour Vall in 1969 to produce the Elaine May/Terrence McNally double bill “Adaptation” and “Next.”