Earlier in the week it was announced that esteemed University of Washington Drama professor, author and national director Jon Jory will retire from the university faculty at the end of the 2011 school year. After 11 years on staff, Jory and his wife, Marcia Dixcy Jory, will retire to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they both plan to teach at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
“I will continue to work and be involved in theater,” Jory explained over the phone. “I will be teaching with my wife. We haven’t ever been able to teach together, so we will be able to enjoy that.” Although Jory is excited about his future plans, he admits that the retirement was a difficult decision, and that there are many aspects of his job that he will miss.
“I think any teacher who should be teaching, the first thing they would say is the students. And that’s true for me,” Jory mused. “We have very colorful students, and they have a very close relationship to the faculty. I will also miss the faculty because we are a very close-knit group.”
Aside from teaching, Jory will leave behind a legacy at UW in the form of several teaching innovations he developed in the department, including the highly effective “Technique” classes for training acting students. Although he spent many years at the head of the classroom, Jory says he will take many lessons away from his time at UW.
“Frankly the clearest gift [the students and staff] have given me is that I am a much better director than I was before I started teaching; that is very clear to me. They have allowed me to grow. That old cliché about the students teaching the teacher is absolutely true.”