OBITUARY

Randy Lee Strawderman

November 10, 1948August 5, 2020

Randy Lee Strawderman of Midlothian, Virginia left the stage for the last time on August 5, 2020.

He was preceded in death by his parents, E. Sidney Strawderman and Bonnie Mae Strawderman. Randy is survived by two brothers, Dennis Strawderman (Patti) and Sydney A. Strawderman ( Jane), a nephew, Patrick Strawderman ( Lila), and two nieces, Megan Strawderman and Leigh Strawderman.

Randy received a Degree in Drama Education in 1971 from VCU and spent his entire life teaching dance and writing and choreographing plays mainly at the Barksdale Theatre in Hanover. He directed and produced Theatre on both the local and the National stage. He co-wrote and directed RED HOT AND COLE which premiered at the Barksdale and later was produced in Los Angeles ,California. He directed a National tour of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Randy spent his later years teaching at the Governors School for Arts in Norfolk, Virginia and at the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He was well known for decades in the Arts and Theatre World and will be greatly missed by all of his friends and students and family. Although he was certainly brilliant in what he accomplished, perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the PLAY he wrote with his life. Material possessions were never important to Randy. His wealth was measured in the knowledge he passed on to others and the joy that it brought them.

The Family would like to thank Heather Meadowcroft, Jane Renger, Joy Ainsworth, the people at THE Lexington and especially Lelia Winget-Hernandez who was truly amazing!

The service will be private.

Memories

Randy Lee Strawderman

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Lisa Givens Lowe

June 28, 2021

Oh, Randy. Thank you for seeing something in me.
Sending love, I know you can feel it.

Joy Ainsworth

August 16, 2020

It was a pleasure to know and serve Randy and the Strawderman family during his final years on this earth. He always had a smile and so enjoyed getting out and about daily. Our prayers are with the family and our hopes are that we will all be reacquainted with Randy again when we make our final transition to our forever home. With sorrow, love and prayers!
Faithful Servants Care

James Wilson

August 12, 2020

Great guy he will be missed

Yvonne Borree

August 12, 2020

I’m sad to hear about the passing of Randy. I will cherish my fond memories of him during my younger days of growing up at the Tidewater Ballet. Randy exuded such playful and youthful energies that at times I thought we were the same age. His kindness and inspiration would just billow right out of him like the ocean. I thank you for watching out for me all those years ago. We will miss you and your jovial laughter of light in this world. Randy was endlessly dedicated to his art form. Peace and love.

Safisha Mance

August 10, 2020

Randy - I was changed when I entered your summer youth program in Virginia as a Senior in High School - The Red Badge Gang. How I learned so much from you - Being honest with me - Move for a reason, walking 10 miles for a taste of what a soldier would have felt and so many more life changing moments.

Rest in Peace.

Safisha

Helene Wagner

August 10, 2020

In 1990, I had just moved to Virginia from Dallas, TX. where I was a member of the 3RD Coast Screenwriter' Forum. I did not know anyone in Richmond and I missed being with other screenwriters.
I decided to try to find a space to form a group of Richmond screenwriters. After making 35 calls, trying to find a space to meet in, someone said try Randy Strawerman. When I told Randy over the phone what I wanted to do, he was so excited, he said YES! He was a visionary, an artist and a dear friend. The Virginia Screenwriters Forum just passed it's 30th year.

Jack Cummings III

August 9, 2020

Oh how I loved Randy. He was one of the very first people to ever believe in me as a director. I directed four shows for him while he was the Artistic Director for Barksdale Theatre. He gave me my first musical “She Loves Me” in 1998. His artistry and utter belief in true process (that allowed both failing and succeeding) shaped me as an artist and human being forever. Randy was a true artist’s artist. Many people practice the art of theatre but not all are actual artists. Randy was definitely an artist through and through, marked primarily by his endless curiosity and compassion for the human experience. I was directing “Violet” for him in 1999 and my team and I ran into problems during tech, realizing we had gone down the wrong design road—every team’s worst nightmare. This had never happened to me and I became paralyzed with fear and left late one night practically catatonic. Randy ran after me, chased me to my car as I was pulling out of the parking lot and begged me to just have faith and not give up. The next day, he sat with us and led our team to one of the most incredible solutions I could have ever imagined. It makes me cry just thinking about it. Rest In Peace dear kind generous complicated Randy—I’ll love you always.

Emily Skinner

August 9, 2020

Randy was truly an inspired, inspiring impact on my life. He was filled with passion for the stage and an unmatched creativity. I feel incredibly lucky to have worked with such a completely unique visionary.

Deborah Thorpe

August 8, 2020

Randy Strawderman was an extraordinary human. We have known him for decades as a teacher at The Governor’s School. Randy was by far one of the most inspiring teachers we employed. He brought out the best in everyone. I will always remember his fabulous laugh. We had a lot of laughs. rest now Randy. GSA loves you.

So many former students have posted about how Randy changed their lives. We hold him so close to our hearts.

Caroline Jones

August 8, 2020

I’ve been trying to find what home he was in for Alzheimer’s since September. I wanted to write to him a letter about the impact he made on my life. Offer massages to be able to give back to him in his time of need.
He lifted me up and saw something in me in a time where I felt nobody could understand what I was going through, but not through talking it out. His classes were inspiring and got us to consider others and understand ourselves on a deeper level. It strengthened us and made us a tighter group. He showed us how to use our experiences towards our seeing ourselves in another. The weirdest guy you’ll know, and the most compassionate, courageous, inspiring. He would have us freewrite after every class, meditate at the beginning. One freewrite I turned into my first monologue, based on something I was working through. He lifted me up so high for it, in front of everybody. I was confident enough to do it in a master class for Woody King Jr, top guy in the business, Audition Tech. The response from that man was so elating, he even reached out to them head of my dept for recommendation letter offering.
Randy always pushed me, always got us to dive into the scary and see what comes from it.
We’d all have a lot to laugh about together from this zany man, but we all knew him to be a genius, and a true friend.

FROM THE FAMILY