Gerald Weales
Dr. Gerald C. Weales, professor emeritus of English, and legendary theatre critic, passed away August 30 at age 88.

Dr. Weales taught English and drama at Penn for 30 years, retiring in 1987.

An expert on American and English drama, he was a reviewer at The Reporter, 1964-1968 and at Commonweal from 1968-1993 and wrote the annual “American Theater Watch” in the Georgia Review, 1978-2010. His awards included a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism; a Guggenheim and a Fulbright.

In addition to publishing extensively in periodicals, Dr. Weales edited dozens of books, including critical editions of classic plays and novels such as “Death of a Salesman,” “The Crucible,” The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy, Gentleman and many others. He authored Canned Goods As Caviar: American Film Comedy of the 1930s (1985), Odets the Playwright (1971), The Jumping-Off Place; American Drama in the 1960’s (1969) and many other books.

Dr. Weales was born in Connersville, Indiana. After serving in the US Army during WWII where he received a Purple Heart and Bronze star, he earned a BA, MA and PhD from Columbia University.

In 2011, the Kelly Writers House hosted a celebration in his honor. A video recording of the event is available here:

Dr. Weales is survived by his sister, Sally Clyde; sister-in-law, Helen Weales; nieces, Becky Milhollan, Jenny McGuirl, Vickie Hall, and Marsha Bingaman; and nephews, Bob Rauch, Shannon Clyde and Ron Weales.