In Memory of John MacDonald

— It is with great sadness that we announce that John MacDonald, longtime artistic director of Washington Stage Guild, died Sunday, July 6th from an accidental fall in his home in Mt. Ranier. It’s hard to fathom the depth of the loss for the actors and company members who knew him, and for us as audience who came to embrace the feast of Shaw and others he regularly laid before us.

John and Ann Norton, his partner in all things personal and professional, have been shepherding the company into a new performing space at 8th and E Streets, while conducting a series of staged readings this year.

Actor R. Scott Williams joined the company for Opus (he played Dorian). In his personal blog, he is sharing the reactions of the family and friends

John left us midst the burst of the high energy of this summer’s festivals, His last directorial mission was part of it – Libby Leonard’s 10 minute What Remains at the Source Festival.

Condolences can be sent to Ann Norton, 4018 Argyle Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20011-5301. If you have personal memories to share with us, we hope you will leave them below.

Lorraine Treanor About Lorraine Treanor

Lorraine Treanor has been editor of DC Theatre Scene since 2006. She has produced plays and concerts in her hometown of Chicago, and twice in the Capital Fringe festival. Her daughter Nina Norris is an artist working in Chicago. Life's a blast because she shares it with writer Tim Treanor.


  1. Compose Yourself says:

    This news saddens me deeply. Though I did not know John too well, I did have the honor of recently working with the Stage Guild, and having very pleasant interactions with Ann. My heart goes out to her, and to all the family at the Stage Guild.

  2. To the Washington Stage Guild members and especially Ann:

    There is no way to express my grief for John’s passing, so I’ll share a memory. The beginnings of the stage guild and my career as a sculptor coincided at Paul the 6th institute. The excitement of observing your rehearsals. watching you all frantically rushing to and from your basement dressing room and finally seeing your performance in the old Kate Smith theater will always stay with me. Then there was the day when the large cross I was working on lost its support and fell. I caught it, could barely hold it and couldn’t get it back up. I screamed for help – John and some cast members rushed down and we righted it. When I sliced my finger with a chisel again it was the stage guild that came to assist. You all have my gratitude for this and for all the wonderful theater experiences you provided. – And Bill Good luck to you in your new responsibility I know you’ll be terrific.




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