Heston, Lilla, 1927-1984
Lilla A. Heston was born in St. Helen, Michigan on October 1, 1927, the daughter of Chester L. and Lilla (Charlton) Heston. After graduating from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, Heston began her collegiate studies at Northwestern University in 1945. Majoring in theatre, she took a B.S. degree from Northwestern's School of Speech in 1949. Heston resumed her studies at Northwestern in 1957 and the following year received an M.A. degree in Interpretation. For two years beginning in 1958 she served as an instructor of English at Vassar College and in 1961 she returned to Northwestern to begin work on her doctorate. At the same time she accepted an appointment as an instructor in the School of Speech's Interpretation Department. Completing her degree in 1965, Heston accepted the position of assistant professor. In 1968, the University promoted her to associate professor and in 1973 she attained the rank of professor. From 1979 to her death on May 30, 1984, Heston served as chair of the Interpretation Department.
Heston was a prolific author, editor, and performer and the scope of her work, focusing on drama and the interpretation of literature, was wide-ranging. She wrote numerous articles and reviews relating to literature and performance, edited textbooks on drama, and adapted, directed, and performed in scores of stage productions throughout her career. Heston also served as a consultant and performer in the production of several educational audio recordings and as a participant on two television programs. A detailed list of her writings and major production activities may be found in Box 1, Folder 1 of the papers.
Heston was a leading scholar in her field and she both lectured and performed for workshops and seminars held at numerous colleges and universities. She was an active and prominent member of several professional organizations. Heston was secretary, chair, Newsletter editor, and member of various committees of the Interpretation Division of the Speech Communication Association (SCA). She also served as a member of both the Legislative Assembly and Resolutions Committee of the SCA. Heston was an associate editor for the Quarterly Journal of Speech from 1977 through 1980 and for Literature in Performance from 1979 through 1984. She was also a member of the editorial board of Illinois Speech News.
Heston's participation in Northwestern University-related activities was extensive and involved memberships on the Calendar, Undergraduate Life, Fulbright Scholarship, Honorary Degree, Study Abroad, Graduate Program in Literature, and General Faculty committees. She was a faculty advisor for Mortarboard, a faculty associate of Jones Performing Arts Residential College, and a member of the Council on the Arts. Heston served as a faculty advisor to the School of Speech Senate and as a member of the School's Undergraduate Affairs; Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure; Creative Writing Program; Theatre & Interpretation Administrative; and Season Performance Events committees.