|Birth: ||Oct. 25, 1920, USA|
|Death: ||Feb. 20, 2001|
Beloved acting teacher at Southwest Missouri State University. Coached such greats as John Goodman, Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper.
Howard Orms began as a theater professor at Southwest Missouri State College (later Southwest Missouri State University and now Missouri State University) in 1966 and retired in 1993. He remained on as a professor emeritus until his death in 2001. While at the university, he taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in Acting, Directing, Theatre Management, and Voice and directed various Springfield Little Theater and MSU Tent Theatre productions.
Orms was born October 25, 1920, in Keota, Iowa, and graduated from Mt. Vernon, Iowa High School. During World War II (and after he had completed five semesters at Cornell College), he served in the European Theater for 4 years as Mess Sergeant for the 124th Anti-aircraft Artillery Gun Battalion, Battery D. He received five battle stars for his service and was honorably discharged in 1946. In 1947, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from Cornell College. He also worked as a graduate assistant at Cornell for two years teaching Radio, Verse Choir, and Stage Craft. In 1950, he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Drama from Yale University.
Prior to joining Missouri State University, Orms, owned and directed at the Merry-Go-Round Theatre in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, from 1950 to 1963. He was an Assistant Professor of Speech and Drama at Howard College in Birmingham, Alabama, from 1950 to 1951. He directed at the Nashville Community Playhouse and Nashville Children's Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1951-1953.
Howard directed at the Tulsa Little Theatre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1961 to 1966. Orms was a member of several theater organizations as well, such as the American National Theatre and Academy (ANTA), for which he was a Regional Director and was on the National Board; the American Educational Theatre Association (AETA), which was later shortened to the American Theatre Association (ATA); the Community Theatre Association (ACTA), which he helped to found and of which he was president for three terms (originally a division of AETA but disassociated in 1986 and became the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT)); and the Iowa Community Theatre Association (ICTA), of which he was president for two terms.
Missouri State University hosts a collection of writings and notes by Howard. It is worthy for any acting or technical stage student to study his works.
"He has a goal of being, not only liked, but well liked."
From the play...Death of a Salesman
TO ALL ASPIRING ACTORS: Howard would tell you that what ever shoes you have been given by the wardrobe department, start wearing them on stage or the set as soon as you can get them. It helps you find that character..."walk in their shoes!" Howard Orms
"PASSION!!! (gritting teeth) Where is the passion in today's actor? Find it!
With Love, Howard Orms
Greenlawn Memorial Gardens
Created by: Debi Ann
Record added: Sep 04, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5737420