We are saddened to learn of the passing of Leonidas A. Nickole, aged 93. He was the founder of the Theater Company of Saugus, then called the “Town Criers”, in 1968. He was long honored by the theatre company as a designated Lifetime Member. He was one of the longest serving and most influential members of the company. He will be greatly missed.
Leo Nickole was a professor at Emerson College in Boston for many decades, teaching several generations of students. He specialized in the history and practice of Musical Theatre.
TCS benefited from his role as an educator. His subject and our avocation, theatre, were the same, and he had much to teach us. He was always willing to share his knowledge and passion for theatre with us. Professor Nickole was the organizer or presenter of a series of educational workshops that TCS sponsored over the past twenty years. Most of these workshops were the inspiration for a show in that genre in the following season. There were also dozens of general company meetings to which Leo brought guest speakers or performers, who he know from his extensive contacts on Broadway and the professional theatre, as well as from Emerson College.
He directed dozens of shows for TCS. Since returning to TCS twenty years ago after a hiatus, he directed several Theatre Company of Saugus shows, including:
- Light Up the Sky (2001)
- To Kill A Mockingbird (2002)
- She Loves Me (2003)
- Evenings with Shakespeare / Taming of the Shrew (2005)
- Fiddler on the Roof (2006)
- From Broadway to Hollywood revue (2008)
- The Pirates of Penzance (2008)
Leo was also the producer or a production team member of many other TCS shows. He served many years on the Board of Directors, including terms as Treasurer and President. Leo continued to be active with us until a few years ago, serving as House Manager for most productions.
He was a founder of the New England Theatre Conference (NETC). That organization grants the annual Leonidas Nickole award to an outstanding theatre educator. An award in his name is also offered annually by the Musical Theatre Society of Emerson College.
The burial services were private. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.