The outpouring of affection for retired U of M
theater professor Josie Helming
has been incredible and incredibly moving
. Helming, known as much for her life coaching as her performance advice, struggled with complications related to congestive heart failure, and went to study with Chekhov
Another tribute arrived in my inbox this week from one of Helming's former students, Alice Rainey Berry
, the director of promotions for the U of M theater department and a founding member of Voices of the South
"Josie Helming was tall, it's true – a force of nature to be sure.
A teacher, mentor, colleague and friend that empowered all who surrounded her to be their best, especially her students.
During her 28+ years at the University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance, Josie Helming had a dramatic impact
on hundreds of young lives. She nurtured us with great compassion and a lust for life. She fed us both literally and figuratively.
She met us where we were and saw potential for greatness, and she guided us to self discoveries about the theatre, yes, but most importantly, about life."
That about says it.
A public celebration of Helming's life and work is being held this Saturday, January 10, at 2:00pm on the U of M Main stage. All are welcome.