STAGE NOTES: Kay Bosse, member of Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, dies at 75



Kay Bosse, a 2006 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame inductee known for her dedication to the craft as an actress, director, educator and playwright, died March 30 at Azura Memory Care in Clinton, Wisc., where she had lived for the past three years battling frontotemporal dementia. She was 75.

Bosse, a dynamic presence, frequently performed with the Human Race Theatre Company, where she served as a resident actor. My personal favorite: her outstandingly sarcastic portrayal of cynical Countess Charlotte Malcolm in the Race’s luminous 1999 production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical “A Little Night Music.” She also left a remarkable impression as earthy diner owner Hannah Ferguson in the bluegrass musical “The Spitfire Grill,” a beautifully intimate 2003 production that felt like a warm hug. Her numerous Race credits include “The Ambition Bird,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Falsettoland,” “Guarding Gold Street,” “Managing Maxine,” “Quilters” and “Pacific Overtures” to name only a few.

“The Board and Staff of The Human Race Theatre Company join our community of actors and artists in mourning the passing of Resident Artist Emeritus Kay Bosse,” noted the organization in a Facebook post. “Since 1989, she contributed to nearly 40 productions, readings and special events as actor, director and teacher. Her good humor, collaborative spirit and talents in our city will be missed. Our thoughts and love go out to her family, friends, and loved ones and hope that many joyous memories together will light up this difficult time.”

As a director and educator, Bosse’s associations included University of Dayton, Sinclair Community College, Muse Machine, Rosewood Arts Center, and Northmont High School. At UD, she notably staged such productions as “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Dancing at Lughnasa.” Her playwrighting endeavors were particularly showcased at Sinclair, where she wrote and directed an original adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “To A God Unknown,” and Northmont, where she wrote and directed “A,” her updated version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter.”



Bosse was born May 28, 1948, in Dayton to the late Dorance Wayne and Dara Jane Taylor (nee Karns). Her obituary noted she is survived by her two children, Benjamin (Andrea) Bosse; Sarah (Jeremy) Shea; her two grandsons, Owen and Isaac; and her brother Karlton (Deb) Taylor.

A celebration of life will be planned this summer.

Human Race Theatre spring fundraiser

The Human Race Theatre Company is planning Certified Human Night, a spring fundraiser, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 17 at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton.

This event offers patrons a chance to sing Broadway and karaoke favorites for two rounds of music trivia followed by a live auction hosted by Resident Artist and professional auctioneer Tim Lile. Additional details: appetizers, cash bar and a 50/50 raffle. Attire for the evening is described as “Night on the Town.”

“After an evening full of joy, creative fellowship, and innocent competition, stay for the first ever recognition as a Certified Human, cementing your place as a top fan of The Human Race Theatre Company,” noted organizers in an e-mail. “The winning bid will be commemorated in our lobby alongside a newly commissioned artwork made in collaboration with Dustin Wagner from Nyminal Glass. In this world of AI and deep fakes, let us endorse you as the real deal – no physical required! Be the first inductee of this new tradition!”

Ticket details:

$35 General Admission (seating in the theatre)

  • Open seating in the theatre
  • One music trivia entry per round
  • Nibbles & dessert
  • Sparkling toast

$200 VIP Tables of 4 (limited seating)

  • Reserved café table seating onstage
  • One music trivia entry per team per round
  • A chilled 4-pack of Exit Stage Left – the Race’s exclusive brew with Branch and Bone
  • Human Race swag
  • Nibbles & dessert
  • Sparkling toast

For more information, visit

About the Author