Notice of Online Archive

  • This page is no longer being updated and remains online for informational and historical purposes only. The information is accurate as of the last page update.

    For questions about page contents, contact the Communications Division.

Minott L. “Mike” Coombs, who guided hundreds of students in performances during 35 years as director of theater at Lafayette, passed away Oct. 21. He began in 1951 and was promoted to associate professor of speech and drama in 1961. He directed 125 or more plays on campus, starting with Little Theater productions in Hogg Hall and continuing in the Williams Center for the Arts, where Lafayette College Theater premiered in 1983 with his production of Chicago.

“Actors who have worked with Coombs agree he can accomplish a great deal in a short time,” stated a Nov. 2, 1984 article in The Express newspaper. “He’s meticulous, they say, and actors know exactly what’s expected of them.”

Coombs established annual awards for best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress in 1952. “I’ve loved every minute here,” he said in a newspaper article written about his retirement. “Lafayette’s a classy institution.”

In addition to campus performances, Coombs directed professional summer theaters at Boothbay Playhouse in Maine, Highfield Theater in Falmouth, Mass., and Ross Common Playhouse in Wind Gap, Pa. He directed civic theaters in Orlando, Fla., and Brunswick, Maine, and was organizer and founder of the former Workshop Theater of Brunswick. One of the plays he wrote, The Autumn Age, was professionally produced. He also acted professionally in several New York City theaters and television productions.

Early in his career, Coombs held jobs as screenwriter for Louis Rochemont Associates in New York, assistant editor of the Brunswick Record, and staff writer for the Orlando Florida Sentinel Star. He also was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II.

Categorized in: Alumni