- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 22, 2001

Shock from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington reverberated through the local arts community in different ways.
Frank Donnelly, 74, a therapist and playwright who was associated with many arts institutions throughout his life, died in his sleep in Manhattan last Thursday after spending the previous two days helping with rescue efforts as a grief counselor at the World Trade Center site. He was known to many Washingtonians as the companion for 24 years of Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Michael Kahn, who also is head of the Drama Division of New York's Juilliard School. Mr. Donnelly, a friendly, enthusiastic man, attended nearly all the Shakespeare company openings, including the most recent one, "The Oedipus Plays," directed by Mr. Kahn.
Mr. Kahn said in a brief telephone interview that Mr. Donnelly's latest play, "Two Little Indians," directed by Lee Breuer of Mabou Mines, would take place as scheduled off-Broadway in February. A previous play, "Queen of Clubs," about actress Tallulah Bankhead, was produced here last year at the Church Street Theatre. At the time of his death, Mr. Donnelly was getting ready to rewrite another play, titled "Dark Cloud in Paris," about a 15-year-old black American girl's relationship with a young German homosexual during the German occupation, Mr. Kahn said.
"He was always involved in the arts," Mr. Kahn added, citing Mr. Donnelly's past history as a founder of Harlem's Studio Museum and membership on the boards of the Alvin Ailey dance company and Dance Theatre of Harlem. He also had written a novel in the 1960s, called "East Sixties," about New York.
A celebration of his life will be held late October in Washington, Mr. Kahn said.

"Music gets us through difficult times. It always has," National Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leonard Slatkin reminded a sell-out crowd at Wednesday's Opening Night Celebration in the Kennedy Center. Four U.S. flags hung above the stage. Mr. Slatkin and the entire orchestra wore red, white and blue ribbon pins, and nearly all the original program was scrapped in favor of more somber and even uplifting selections.
"Each country seems to have a piece of music to go with tragedy," he noted, explaining why American composer Samuel Barber's moving Adagio for Strings was the program opener after the national anthem. "America, the Beautiful" was sung at the close, aided by the Choral Arts Society of Washington.
Mr. Slatkin had returned Sunday from London where he made musical history as the only American conductor to lead a tradition-bound Last Night of the Proms. That program also had been changed at the last minute to become partially a commemor-ative performance for victims of the attacks in New York and Washington and a tribute to British-American unity.
His return to American soil Sunday was an emotional moment, he said: "You're landing in a different country than the one you've left."

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