Sheridan considered Thurow a kindred soul, "diminutive in height yet powerful in spirit." More importantly, they both valued theater's ability to cultivate discipline while fostering imagination.
This is just one of the many tributes the company has received since Thurow died on April 30.
Some of the most potent words come from author Jacquelyn Mitchard, a former Madison resident whose son Marty was a CTM member.
"At 23, now with a BFA in musical theater, 60 stage shows and two films under his belt, he says that it wasn't his college training but Nancy who made him an actor," she notes.
Mitchard says Thurow should be remembered as a gifted artist and builder of talent. In addition to directing scores of plays, she adapted many children's stories for the stage, such as CTM mainstay A Christmas Carol.
"I consider [her] as great a lady of the theater as Esme Church or Lynn Fontanne, who gave actors young and old the gift of training so exacting that they came to her amateurs and left as professionals," she says.
Though Thurow could be a very demanding teacher, she also emphasized theater's power to enchant, from when the company launched in 1965 until her departure in 2004. As CTM board president Sandra Fernandez puts it, "Nancy truly understood the magic of theater and its ability to enrich and transform lives."
To help the community commemorate Thurow's legacy, CTM will host a gathering at Overture Center's Playhouse on May 31 at 7 p.m. A memorial fund at the Madison Community Foundation has also been established in her honor.