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I dig jazz and single-malt scotch.  I write plays; I direct them too. I love STAR WARS more than is healthy. I walk my dogs every day, unless it's raining or terribly cold.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wendy Wasserstein, Chronicler of Women's Identity Crises, Dies

From the NYTimes---

Wendy Wasserstein, who spoke for a generation of smart, driven but sometimes unsatisfied women in a series of popular plays that included the long-running Pulitzer Prize winner "The Heidi Chronicles," died today after a bout with lymphoma, Lincoln Center Theater announced. She was 55.
From me---

I had listened to Wendy Wasserstein speak a few times at various playwright events. The story that really stuck was from her early career. She said that while studying playwriting @ Yale, she had a vision of seeing a curtain call that was a line of women. She had never seen a large cast show that was exclusively female, and she felt that should be seen in a theater. From that vision of the curtain call, she worked backwards and came up with Uncommon Women and Others.

I love that story.

When i worked at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford (I was there for seven years all together), I would pass a poster of Uncommon Women that hung on the wall near the kitchen. It was signed by the first cast and held a place on the wall where everyone passed while waiting to pick-up some lunch. That play had been selected by Lloyd Richards to be developed as part of the National Playwrights Conference way-back-when-in-the-day.

It was important for me to have that poster at my shoulder every day, alongside the other reminders of the playwrights who had passed through that hallway, that diningroom, that place.

It was good for the American Theater that a young Wendy Wassertsein had a place to go with a rough-around-the-edges play and have a place to grow as an artist invested in the theater. I'm glad she continued to write plays.

It's unfortunate that she was taken from us so early in life. I hope her young daughter will grow to understand her mother through the wonderful, rich plays that are her legacy.

God bless, Wendy Wasserstein.

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