The Temple Theaters community is mourning the loss of Alan Ross Kosher, BA ’69, who passed away on September 27, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA, at the age of 68 of colon cancer. Kosher was a respected theater professional and supportive Temple Theaters alumnus; a friend and mentor to many.
Kosher had an extensive and successful forty-five year career in theater, primarily as the company manager of the touring production of The Lion King. He began his career working box office at Philadelphia theaters and by 1980 became the company manager for major touring stage productions. He was employed by Disney Theatrical Productions from 1999 until his retirement in 2012. He toured with Beauty and the Beast as well as with The Lion King and retired when The Lion King production closed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
In May 2005, The League of American Theater and Producers awarded him its Career Achievement Award for Touring Broadway Theater to honor his twenty-five years as a company manager. In October 2010, he received the Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award from Temple University in recognition of his work. He frequently returned to speak to theater classes at Temple about theater administration and stage management. He was a well-respected member of the Temple Theaters community.
An advocate of mentorship, Kosher endowed the Alan Kosher Fund in 2007. The fund provides financial support, including, but not limited to, travel, food and lodging expenses, to an undergraduate Theater major for one week internship or job-shadowing with a union manager of a first-class theatrical touring production. Past recipients worked along side Kosher in Las Vegas with The Lion King.
J.T. Murtagh, BA ’14, was the 2012 recipient of the award and used it to travel to Houston to work on Disney’s production of the The Lion King. “I am so thankful for the opportunity that was given to me by Alan. It really did cement into place what I was meant to do in theater,” say Murtagh. “I know his loss is one that struck the worldwide theatre community. My heart and prayers go out to his family and loved ones.” Murtagh staged managed several production as student, and since graduation, has worked steadily at area theaters.
R.J. Magee, BA ’12, the 2010 recipient, shared his thoughts about his time working with The Lion King and what the opportunity meant to him. “The week that I spent shadowing the company managers of The Lion King in Costa Mesa, CA is one that I will never forget. Mr. Kosher provided me with an opportunity that went far beyond anything that I could learn in the classroom. I made invaluable industry contacts and got to witness the true inner workings of such a first class production. Mr. Kosher’s passion for his work, along with his desire to educate/mentor the future artists of American theatre, is something that will forever inspire me.”
The funeral will take place on Tuesday, September 30, 12:00 Noon, at the graveside, Montefiore Cemetery, 600 Church Road, Jenkintown, PA, 19046.
Gifts to the Alan Kosher Fund can be made online, at giving.temple.edu/givetotheater (type in “Alan Kosher Fund” in “Other”) or mail a check, payable to “Temple University – Alan Kosher Fund” to Temple University, P.O.Box 827651, Philadelphia, PA 19182-7651.
Remembrances can by emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this post regularly.