Monday, December 15, 2008

OBT: Doug Balentine

Playhouse 2000 creator found dead in his car
Conor Harrison, The Daily Times, Published December 15, 2008

Former Kerrville resident and Playhouse 2000 founder Doug Balentine was found dead over the weekend in Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas.

According to Jeff Cunningham of Playhouse 2000, a park ranger found Balentine dead in his vehicle. Cunningham believes it was from natural causes.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville.

“He was a gifted artist, a genius, a unique personality and a person who loved very deeply,” Cunningham said. “It was an honor to be a student, peer and friend of Doug. The world is a smaller place without him.”

Balentine co-founded the Hip Pocket Theater in Fort Worth before moving to Kerrville and starting Playhouse 2000 in 1998.

He was the executive director until 2006, when Heather Cunningham took over the post. Balentine stayed active in the playhouse on the board of directors.

Balentine lived in Balmorhea, where he was building a ranch house and “moving into semi-retirement,” according to Cunningham.

“He spent 45 years in the theater/music business and wrote more than 50 musicals,” Cunningham said. “He also made a habit of starting successful playhouse companies.”

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