Go back

Famed playwright with APSU ties dies

Word has reached Austin Peay State University that New York City playwright, director and educator, Glyn William OMalley, 55, died unexpectedly Nov. 14, 2006, after suffering a heart attack.

OMalley, who wrote and directed the play, A Heartbeat to Baghdad, is survived by his mother, Meredith, his sister, Gail, and three brothers, Dennis, David and Thomas.

At the time of his death, OMalley was director of education at the Cherry Lane Theatre Institute, NYC, and professor at Lehman College-CUNY (City University of New York) and Fordham University.
Word has reached Austin Peay State University that New York City playwright, director and educator, Glyn William O'Malley, 55, died unexpectedly Nov. 14, 2006, after suffering a heart attack.

O'Malley, who wrote and directed the play, “A Heartbeat to Baghdad,” is survived by his mother, Meredith, his sister, Gail, and three brothers, Dennis, David and Thomas.

At the time of his death, O'Malley was director of education at the Cherry Lane Theatre Institute, NYC, and professor at Lehman College-CUNY (City University of New York) and Fordham University.

The author of 19 plays, O'Malley also directed more than 50 productions in major theatres around the U.S. and Europe, including the world premiere of “Albee's Men” and “Albee's Women.”

His most recent New York City premieres were his war trilogy: “Paradise” (Kirk Theatre, 2005), “A Heartbeat to Baghdad (The Flea, 2004) and “Concertina's Rainbow (Cherry Lane Theatre, 2001).

O-Malley gave birth to “A Heartbeat to Baghdad” in 2004 while he was playwright-in-residence at APSU. In the early months of his residency, O'Malley interviewed scores of soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and their loved ones. Based on those interviews, O'Malley wrote “A Heartbeat to Baghdad,” which had its world premiere at APSU before debuting in New York City at The Flea.

One of his first interviews at APSU was with the widow of Sgt. Ariel Rico, a member of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who had been killed while serving in Iraq. In 2004 at APSU, O'Malley established the Sgt. Ariel Rico Memorial Scholarship and designated that it was to go to the child of any U.S. soldier who had been killed or handicapped in the line of duty.

O'Malley's family requested that memorial gifts be made to the Sgt. Ariel Rico Memorial Scholarship, APSU Box 4417, Clarksville, TN 37044.

For more information about the playwright, visit wikipedia and click on Glyn O'Malley or contact his brother, Dennis O'Malley, by e-mail at domainx@cox.net. For comprehensive information about O'Malley's theatrical works, visit the Web site of producer Gary Allen. -- Dennie B. Burke