BBD: RIP Paul Barry, ? – 9/11/14

Paul Barry was the founder of and for a number of years producer, director and actor at the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival. Folks who have read even portions of Wicked Game would know that this was where a few odd occurrences transpired in 1988-1990, that it was partially funded by former CIA director Richard M. Bissell’s Gerald R. Ford Foundation *, and what I believe was actually happening there. That is, they were using it as some kind of training ground for field operatives for psychological operations not unlike what happened under COINTELPRO.

Paul had begun a promising career with the New York Shakespeare Festival {now often known as Shakespeare in the Park} working with the likes of James Earl Jones, Roy Scheider, Laurence Luckinbill and other later-to-be movie, tv, and Broadway actors. The NYSF kind of began by touring schools and doing other performances of Romeo & Juliet. Paul played Tybalt to Scheider’s Mercutio. Luckinbill wasn’t there for long, but was cast as Romeo.

At some point, Paul split off from Joseph Papp and went his own way one state over.

Before Paul was removed as festival director in 1990, he had completed productions of the entire Shakespeare canon at the festival with King John being the final play to achieve that.

Paul’s IMDB entry. As you can see, it doesn’t list his date of birth, merely date of death. What prompted my search for his entry, and subsequent discovery that he died on September 11th, 2014, was the mention of Iwo Jima. Paul had said one morning in 1990 that he was there for the battle during WWII as a marine. I think he was a few years too young to have been there for that and was perhaps letting his imagination run a little rampant that morning, perhaps to explain his sometimes gruff demeanor. In any case, difficult to determine without a birthdate.

* And with all my talk of Ford Foundation, I see that the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is a current donor. I think that I got that part wrong. Much editing to do. Damn…

The question remains, I suppose. Did Paul know that government funds were coming into the Festival for these purposes? Hard to say. People working under secret research programs often did not know that the ultimate source of funding was CIA. Some guessed, figured it out. I don’t see any reason why Paul would have had to know. Now, I won’t ever be able to ask him.

But I’m guessing FBI knows. For all the good that ever does anyone:

Bethany Horne, “The Case Against Matt DeHart,” Newsweek, 20 May 2015:

After doing a full run-up, the ER doctors concluded DeHart had suffered an acute psychotic break, “most consistent with drug-induced psychosis such as secondary to amphetamines, cocaine or other stimulants.” But DeHart denied ever willingly taking drugs, and he had been in the custody of law enforcement for 16 hours before his trip to the hospital. No matter. The ER tended to DeHart for four hours and then handed him back to the guards, who shuttled him back to jail.

He thinks he accidentally saw something he wasn’t supposed to see, something that would embarrass the FBI and the CIA, and expose a serious rift between the two law enforcement agencies regarding one of the most sensational and controversial crimes of the post-9/11 war on terror.


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