A Celebration of Stan's Life

February 6, 2020

Stan edelson

Stan Edelson was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1929. His talent as an artist started early. As a teen, he enrolled at the Art Students League, a major arts school in Manhattan, and joined an activist artist collective dedicated to social, racial and economic justice. During the McCarthy era, he spoke out against the wrongs of the times.

In 1960, he and his wife, Bobbi Ausubel, moved to Cambridge, MA, had two daughters, and became pioneers in the experimental theater movement. They started Caravan Theater in Harvard Square, Cambridge, with the financial support of the American Friends Service Committee. Their plays were socially relevant productions, including the original play, How to Make a Woman, one of the most influential plays of the second wave of the women’s movement. After each performance, they led some of the first women’s and men’s consciousness raising groups on the East Coast.

Stan taught acting and drawing at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education for almost 60 years, into his late 80’s. While there, he started the Diversity Lab Theater, focusing on actors and plays related to ethnic and racial diversity. Over the years, Stan inspired thousands of students who often became part of his large network of friends. Many of Stan's students say he was the person who changed their lives and careers.

In Stan's later years, he exhibited his art in numerous galleries, including several retrospectives of his life-long work. His primary identify was as an artist but it was so closely linked to making the world a better place that he often said that the word “act” in “acting,” is the beginning of the word “ACTivist” and “ACTion.”

Peace and Justice (Tikkun olam, the Jewish concept to “repair the world”) guided Stan. He was vibrant, outspoken, but softly spoken, and understood the history of the world, including its many injustices. He demanded and taught others to act in a humane way, with respect, patience, and kindness towards all people. He often talked with strangers and was interested in knowing their thoughts and lives.

He identified strongly as being culturally Jewish. He traveled to Israel several times also visiting Palestine. He did not believe in conflict and war, saying there always is another solution.

He and his wife Bobbi remained close friends even after their divorce. His two daughters became strong advocates and leaders, focusing on their own social justice causes.

Stan is survived by Bobbi, Naomi (Marty), Rivka (Robert) and Rafi, his grandson.

Memorial service postponed until further notice. Please check back for updates.