Open for Donations: The James N. Loehlin Memorial Fund, University of Texas at Austin, administered by Austin Community Foundation


The James N. Loehlin Memorial Fund was established in October of 2023 as a non-profit through the Austin Community Foundation to honor his life and continue his legacy. It exists to invest in students, artists, and academics pursuing higher education and the arts, specifically those that focus on Shakespeare and Early Modern drama. The fund will open to applicants in 2024.


About James N. Loehlin

James Norris Loehlin, of Austin, Texas, died of pancreatic cancer on September 14, 2023, in the loving arms of his wife of 27 years, Laurel René Goff Loehlin. In addition to Laurel, he is survived by his sister, Jennifer Ann Loehlin, and her partner Michael T. Mashl, his sister- and brother-in-law, Holly Goff Marcks and Jeffrey Earl Marcks, and his nephew, William Arren Broussard, Jr. He was 58 years old.

James was born in Austin, Texas on November 4, 1964 to Marjorie Leafdale Loehlin and John C. Loehlin, whose appointment at the University of Texas at Austin brought the family to Texas from Nebraska.

James was an imaginative child with an intense focus on his passions, starting with trains and dinosaurs. He showed an early talent for drawing. In high school, he produced editorial cartoons for the high school and neighborhood papers as well as artwork for the yearbook and other publications. He excelled in class, served on the student council, and began acting, including playing Claudius in the high school production of Hamlet.

After graduating from Westlake in 1982, James was admitted to the Plan II Liberal Arts Honors program at the University of Texas at Austin and continued to develop his love of theater, participating in the Shakespeare at Winedale program in 1983 and 1984. After graduating with highest honors in 1986, he attended St. Anne’s College, Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, acting in and directing several plays both in Oxford and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Following his time at Oxford he pursued a Ph.D. in Drama and Humanities at Stanford University, graduating in 1993. He then taught in the Drama Department at Dartmouth College for five years, serving as Director of the London Foreign Study Program.

It was during his last year at Stanford, that James had the fabulous luck of reconnecting with his childhood friend, Laurel Goff. Though friends since third grade, it was love at first sight for two people who had known each other their whole lives. They were married in Austin on May 4th, 1996 before settling into their new snowy environs in Hanover, New Hampshire. In the third year of their life in Hanover, the University of Texas came calling.

In the summer of 1999, James became an Associate Professor at the University of Texas. James served as the Director of Shakespeare at Winedale for 23 seasons, leading his students in an intense exploration of Shakespeare’s works through performance in the Texas countryside. During the academic year, he taught modern drama and world literature as well as Shakespeare.

His scholarly writing focused on drama in performance. He published books on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, and Henry V, as well as Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus; he is also the author of The Cambridge Introduction to Chekhov and co-editor, with David Kornhaber, of Tom Stoppard in Context. He directed, acted in, or supervised productions of thirty-five of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as all four of Chekhov’s major plays and works by Marlowe and Stoppard.