2003 Distinguished Alumnus
MAX R. BUSH, '72
Playwright, director, and educator Max Bush has been awarded several honors including the Distinguished Play Awards in 1990 and 2002, and the Charlotte Chorpening Cup in 1995. His work includes several plays, publications, and commissions that have been produced and performed all over the country.
In 1996, Bush met with the Water Resource Institute to discuss creating an educational theatric show that would focus on the water quality issues in Bear Creek, a river in the northern Michigan region of Emmet County. The shows would be performed by the Bear Creek Players. He wanted the show to appeal to children and family audiences and be entertaining as well as educational. The information included how to care for Bear Creek as well as how the hydrologic cycle works. Funded by the Water Resource Institute, the Bear Creek Players performed for four years.
Also during this time, Bush and the Grand Valley State University theatre department developed the National New Plays Competition. The program brought in scripts from all over the country which were judged by Grand Valley faculty. The winning scripts were performed during the Shakespeare Festival.
Bush is also credited with developing a high school tour as part of the Grand Valley State University Theatre Department’s Shakespeare Festival. With Jo Miller, the festival’s dramaturg, they created an informal yet compelling hour of Shakespeare.
Bush Graduated from Grand Valley with a bachelor’s degree in English with a secondary teaching certificate. His education continued at Michigan State University where in 1985, he earned a master’s of fine arts in directing. Before attending graduate school, he taught English, psychology, and theatre at Marshal High School. He currently resides in Hamilton.