Lyle Dye, director, is pictured at the 2009 production of “Love Letters,” starring Nan and Will Clarkson. “Love Letters” was written by playwright A.R. Gurney, a classmate of Dye's at Yale.
One of our own is being celebrated for his contributions to the world of theater.
On Nov. 1 in Oklahoma City, North Creek’s Lyle Dye will be guest of honor before a black-tie crowd of the glamorous, the famous, and just plain friends. And on Oct. 19 at the Tannery Pond Community Center, he was honored after the Our Town Theatre Group’s production of “Dancing at Lughnasa.” Lyle was presented with two plaques, one for each entrance to the magnificent auditorium. The plaques are inscribed, “Lyle Dye Auditorium,” the name by which the facility now will be known.
Spanning a career of more than 60 years, Dye has been associated with dozens of theater stars such as Thornton Wilder, Julie Harris, Emlyn Williams, Walter and Jean Kerr, Karl Malden, Roddy McDowell, Mildred Dunnock, Helen Hayes, Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, John Houseman, Cloris Leachman and Carroll O’Connor.
Among Dye’s good friends were Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz”) and Jerry Orbach of “Law and Order” fame.
“Jerry holds the record for the most leading man performances in musicals on Broadway (‘Promises, Promises,’ ‘42nd Street,’ ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ revival, “Chicago,” etc.) but most of his TV fans never knew he sang,” Dye said.
Lyle spent 30 years in show business before heading into the world of academia. He has directed more than 160 professional, university and community theater productions throughout his career, and produced dozens of professional shows both in Los Angeles and New York.
Living in Hollywood for nine years, Dye rented Eve Arden’s apartment in the Hollywood Hills. He worked for CBS as associate producer of the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” which led to directing another soap, “The Guiding Light.”
Dye was hired as resident director/artistic director at Lyric Theater of Oklahoma and directed 75 full-scale musicals in his 15 summers there. He was also appointed executive director of a new year-round theater in downtown Oklahoma City.
Interspersed throughout the years were directing gigs in Texas, Connecticut, Kansas, New Hampshire, Westchester, and Long Island, and teaching gigs at UCLA, University of California at Irvine, Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y. and others. Finally Dye took a full-time job teaching theater and directing at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he worked for 15 years.
During his last years at Akron, Dye spent most weekends looking in six different states for the perfect secluded retirement spot — which he eventually found in North Creek. He has lived happily here since his retirement, where he has a log cabin home dubbed “Dialogue” and a large circle of close friends.
Since “retiring” to North Creek, Dye has founded and served as artistic director of the Our Town Theatre Group, served as president of the Johnsburg Historical Society, as the founder and president of the Upper Hudson Arts and Services Consortium, served on the Board of the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council, and he is a co-founder of the Hudson River School at Gore Mountain and Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek. Earlier this year, the Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce named Dye its “Person of the Year.”
Friends Barbara MacNaughton and Rev. George Fleming (former pastor of St. James Catholic Church in North Creek) will accompany Dye to the Oklahoma City gala event.