COF & The Center mourn the death of Artistic Director and Company of Fools Co-Founder, John Glenn

It is with profound sadness that the Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Company of Fools announce the death of Company of Fools Co-Founder and Artistic Director, John Glenn, on June 9, 2017. He was 55 years old.

Glenn relocated to Hailey, Idaho in 2000, intent on joining his dear friend and professional colleague Denise Simone to continue building a professional theatre company on Main Street at the historic Liberty Theatre. During Glenn’s tenure at The Fools he oversaw 21 seasons and over 150 productions. John Glenn was exceptionally brilliant and accomplished in all aspects of theatre—acting, directing, designing, and producing. When not on the stage, Glenn mentored, directed and supported the ones in the spotlight, providing guidance through thoughtful decisions, true depth of feeling and a dedication to his craft and community. 

In 2016, Glenn received the Idaho’s Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. One of the highest honors in the state for the arts, it was given in recognition of his lifetime of achievement and impactful contributions to the arts and to the community at large.

Company of Fools has also been recognized numerous times for its significant contributions to the arts and this is in large part due to the commitment, passion and leadership of John Glenn. In 2009, the Company was awarded Arts Advocate of the Year by the Sun Valley/Ketchum and Hailey Chambers of Commerce. In 2004, Company of Fools was honored as a recipient of the Idaho Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. In December 2000, the Company became the first theatre in Idaho’s history to receive Constituent Theatre status from Theatre Communication Group, the national organization for the professional, nonprofit American theatre.

John’s passing is not only a tragic loss for our organization but also a loss for our entire community. As the family at the Fools and The Center reflects on this loss and a life cut short we can feel the tremendous impact of his life and spirit. John set the tone of the culture and the direction of Company of Fools. John relished every relationship he had. Although he was private, he cared deeply about each and every person who walked through the doors at the Liberty and into his life. He was particularly proud of this upcoming season’s focus on community and the families we build.

He gave selflessly to his work and his efforts made what appeared on stage seem effortless and beautiful, all in service to the love of sharing stories that touched our hearts and minds…with sensitivity, intelligence, kindness and light that will be powerfully missed and impossible to replicate.

The Sun Valley Center for the Arts and Company of Fools remain committed to creating theatre at The Liberty in John’s vision, which is driven by the power of the theatrical experience to connect artist and audience, telling stories that engage, inspire, entertain and transform.

Glenn is survived by his husband, R.L. Rowsey. They were partners for over 24 years and married 2 years ago.