Valhalla, New York
“Sir Mort” was known to theatre students around the world for his dynamic workshops on improvisational theatre, acting, and directing. As a professor of theatre, speech, and English at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, Mr. Clark devoted forty-three years to educational theatre in the United States and abroad.
“The exploration of ideas in dramatic literature stimulates me greatly and provides a springboard for constantly finding new ways to see,” Mr. Clark wrote in explanation of his lifelong commitment to theatre. He counted among his former students young people in almost all fifty states, eleven Canadian provinces, and eighteen foreign countries. One of those students, who is now a teacher herself, said of Mr. Clark, “His life is dedicated to helping others learn how to experience the world, not only in the theatre, but the world that surrounds us all.”
Another colleague wrote, “His enthusiasm and great talent allow him to teach some youth who do not even speak English. With his great skills of communicating and educating, he has changed some very frightened, shy children into great lovers of acting.” He added, “Mort Clark is one of the most sincere and caring persons that I have ever known.”
Sir Mort served EdTA as a territorial director, and held leadership positions in the New York State Speech Association, the International Amateur Theatre Association, the American Community Theatre Association, and other arts organizations. Many of these institutions have honored Mr. Clark in the past—he was even bestowed the Chevalier Medal of Culture by Princess Caroline of Monaco, which accounts for the title.
One colleague who judged an acting competition with Mr. Clark at a state Thespian conference noticed that at the end of each presentation, while she and the other judge bent immediately to scribble their criticisms, Mr. Clark paused long enough to give the students several moments of warm, sincere applause.