James Houghton, 57, Founder Of Signature Theatre And Director Of Juilliard Drama Program

“I don’t think there was anyone in the theater community more beloved than Jim,” the playwright Tony Kushner, whose work was featured in Signature’s 2010-11 season, wrote in an email. “He had a great soul and a grand capacity for friendship and love. He was smart and passionate. He built his singular legacy, founded on his devotion to playwrights’ work and to playwrights themselves, with a uniquely sweet, generous spirit; with unflagging optimism; and with grace.”