Her influence is immeasurable

Edith O’Hara at the 13th Street Repertory Theater in New York, Feb. 15, 2006. O’Hara, who started the 13th Street Repertory Company in Greenwich Village in 1972 and made it a quirky mainstay of New York’s Off Off Broadway scene, keeping it going through the decades while countless other companies fell by the wayside, died on Oct. 16 at her home, an apartment above the theater. She was 103.

In 1972, Edith, a theater maker, former newspaper reporter, and schoolteacher from Idaho, founded the 13th Street Repertory Theatre at 50 West 13th Street as a place for actors, directors, playwrights, and designers to develop and create theater arts in a supportive environment. Her earliest production in New York was Kenn Long and Jim Crozier’s musical Touch, whose score went on to earn a Grammy nomination. She championed one of the first productions on the subject of same sex marriage, Bill Solly and Donald Ward’s Boy Meets Boy, which afterwards became a hit and moved to a commercial run. In 1974, she presented Israel Horovitz’s expressionistic comedy Line, which famously went on to become the longest running play in Off-Off Broadway history. Performer and TV personality Brother Theodore performed his “stand up tragedy” act there on and off for over twenty years.