Welcome to BobPotter.org
Bob Potter was born in New York City in the depths of the Depression (definitely a demographic advantage) and raised in Hollywood, where his father, the director H.C. Potter made twenty feature films. After graduating from Pomona College in 1956 he served in Army Intelligence (his favorite oxymoron).
Bob is the author of 27 plays produced at various university and professional theatres in the United States, Canada and England. From 1972 to 2001 he directed the playwriting program at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was a Professor of Dramatic Art.
Bob died with tremendous grace and dignity, surrounding by loving family, on Sunday, July 11th, 2010. You can read a memorial here: "Bob Potter, 1934-2010: Playwright, Poet, Political Activist, UCSB Professor."
A fund has been established at UCSB by Bob's brother Earl Potter to "reward and inspire undergraduate and/or graduate students to write plays...." To find out more or contribute, please download this document.
Original Plays & Stage Adaptations
This website will eventually include complete texts of all of Bob Potter’s original plays and stage adaptations written since 1969, together with ancillary material (reviews, programs, photos and sound recordings) from as many productions as possible.
Bob Potter's play collection SIX PLAYS was published posthumously by Solstice Press in early January 2011, in a limited edition. The collection includes an introduction by Tom Markus, Bob's introductions to the plays written specially for the book, and the following plays: Where Is Sicily?; The Vision of Children; Just Across the Border; The Lady and the Labyrinth; Amusia; and Last Days of the Empire.
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Poems in Transit
Poems in Transit: 1957-2004, with accompanying photos and comments, follows Bob Potter's trail from Beat Generation San Francisco to the present. Poems in Transit is not your usual book of poetry. Simultaneously a narrative, a collection of photographs and a gathering of poems, it begins in the present, at the author's 70th birthday, and proceeds backward by decades.
As a graduate student Bob encountered medieval theatre and became a lifelong devotee. During a Fulbright year in Bristol, England in 1963-64 he studied with Bertram Joseph and Glynne Wickham and directed the first modern revival of John Bale's King Johan, the first English History Play.
Returning to California, he completed his doctoral dissertation on the English Morality Play and commenced work as a publishing scholar, critic and translator in this field. His book The English Morality Play: Origins, History and Influence of a Dramatic Tradition, was published by Routledge and Kegan Paul in 1975.
A highlight of Bob's scholarly work was his participation and presentation of papers at the triennial Colloquia of the Société Internationale pour l'Étude du Théâtre Médiéval (SITM) in Viterbo, Italy (1983), Perpignan, France (1986), Lancaster, England (1989), Girona, Spain (1992), Toronto, Canada (1995), Odense, Denmark (1998), Groningen, Netherlands (2001), Elche, Spain (2004) and Lille, France (2007).
Working for Peace
It would be difficult to chronicle all of Bob's contributions as a political activist, but here are several highlights.
In 1970, Bob Potter, together with James J. Sullivan, wrote The Campus by the Sea Where the Bank Burned Down, a "report on the disturbances at UCSB and Isla Vista, 1968-1970" submitted to the President's Committee on Campus Unrest at UCSB.
On June 10, 2003, Bob Potter gave a powerful speech at the ceremony dedicating the Monument to the Worldwide Peace Movement during the Vietnam War era in Isla Vista's Perfect Park.
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In his retirement years, Bob dedicated his Sundays to setting up crosses at "Arlington West," raising awareness of the costs of war as part of the Santa Barbara chapter of Veterans for Peace, for which he served as President.
He also worked throughout his career and into retirement doing precinct work and registering voters.