Memories of producer Calvin Wynter

Calvin Wynter

Calvin – as remembered by Fringe-goers

Fringe producer Calvin Wynter’s funeral was in New York at the weekend.

Below is a piece written by a performer who was there. 

But, before that, here is what Julian Caddy, who co-founded the Sweet venues at the Edinburgh Fringe, posted on his Facebook page on 4th November:


I am shocked to hear of the sudden death of Calvin Wynter, Director of Inbrook, creator of the Brooklyn Fringe. He was a regular in my and many other people’s Edinburgh life for over a decade. I always enjoyed our chats and we programmed several of his shows at Sweet over the years, most memorable being that extraordinary Jacques Brel show (you’ll remember it well if you were there).

Calvin when he was younger

Calvin when he was younger and a bit hairier

I will always remember his ability to seemingly have no sleep whatsoever. He had local Skype phone numbers all across the world before anyone else did and you could call him at any time, day or night, and he would always pick up, or he would be calling you, any time you like – or not like!

At Edinburgh Fringe he was a fixture at every promoter’s event and VIP bar, always there with the height of professionalism and politeness. We used to joke about him being like a mafia boss with his sharp suits, softly spoken New York accent and entourage. He was a man who made sure that he knew everyone and that everyone knew him.

Calvin with his 2nd wife Joelle

Calvin seen relaxing with his second wife Joelle

But I think we never really knew him closely. Then again I get the impression that here was a man who lived for his work and for whom not giving 100% would always be regarded as being inadequate: work-life balance was an anathema. So I guess that means he was definitely one of us. The Fringe crowd, who with a look, a nod, just know what it’s like.

Rest in peace buddy.


Now the piece by someone who attended his funeral:


The funeral was small, but nice. Hard to believe such a large man could fit in that urn. Still don’t know the cause of death. I imagine something was written on the death certificate, but his cousin said they don’t really know what befell him. I didn’t go to the interment. Didn’t know how to get to Flushing Cemetery, which is, apparently, a very attractive place. Louis Armstrong and other luminaries are buried there, as are Calvin’s parents. I may make my way out there sometime this week to pay my respects directly.

Calvin Wynter (second from right)

Young Calvin at college in 1977 (second from right) aged 18

An older cousin said he was The Last of the Wynters. She named all the Wynters of their time, the final generation or two. Hearing of his childhood breadth and derring do was instructive.

Sounded both more believable and more impressive than when he told of it.

Childhood and beyond – world traveler, some kind of target shooter, skeet shooter or something I believe, science buff, went to Bronx Science high school, later on a skydiver. Some of his Wall Street colleagues were there. He was a large figure to them. They all talked about how shocking it was when they first saw “theater Cal.”

I met his first wife, the one who, he said, expected to be a politician’s wife and was perfect for it. She did, indeed, look the part. I liked his ex-wife very much. She was surprised he spoke of her, which he did fairly frequently, when it was relevant, and always positively.

Truth is, however, I had forgotten she existed until she turned up at the funeral because it was such a different life she represented than the one I knew.

Calvin Wynter and Jay Amato

Calvin Wynter playing around with his friend Jay Amato

He referred to his friend Jay Amato as his brother. I assumed it was his biological brother he was talking about so, when I met Jay and he was this white guy, I was very surprised.

A delegation of Freemasons was there to acknowledge the loss of someone from their ranks.


The photos on this page were supplied by Jay Amato, who knew Calvin for the last 44 years. He tells me:

“There are many different looks, but they are all Calvin.”

1 Comment

Filed under Theatre

One response to “Memories of producer Calvin Wynter

  1. Justin Pulitzer

    Does anyone have Jay Amato’s contact info? I just learned of Calvin’s death yesterday & have some questions I’m hoping he’d be able to answer.

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