Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 10:55 AM

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein is dead!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

You may not be familiar with her name, but her creativity has contributed so much to public consciousness (in America and around the world) that you’re probably familiar with her work…without even knowing it.

Like many people, I was introduced to Wasserstein’s creative genius in 1989 through her critically acclaimed play The Heidi Chronicles. But I shan’t abuse your trust by pretending to be a theatre critic. Instead, I shall suffice to note that this play appealed to me because of the way Wasserstein made ordinary women the central characters in chronicling – with refreshing clarity, unsparing sarcasm and provocative wit – all that was interesting, accomplished, daring, truthful, frustrating, tragic, amusing, etc., about living and thriving as women “in a world dominated by men”.

And, because she imbued all of her female characters with such life-affirming traits, Wasserstein will be celebrated in perpetuity as one of the very best playwrights America has ever produced (man or woman). Indeed, you could do far worse for entertainment than to stay in and read one of her plays or go out and see one of them in production.

Wasserstein died in New York City yesterday after losing her struggle with cancer (lymphoma). She was 55.

Click here for her full obituary.

NOTE from CNN: I hope it’s not too much of a stretch (or too presumptuous) to suggest that Wasserstein would have approved of my literary rebuke of church leaders in the Caribbean who are mounting a crusade to prevent gay-themed cruises from visiting our Islands. Click here for that article….


  1. Anonymous January 31, 2006 at 1:18 pm

    As a proud gay man, I really appreciate your commentary on gay cruises. Despite popular assumptions, most of us are not flaming fags who like to flaunt our sexual orientation. So thank you for rebuking those homophobic preachers and admonishing the few gays who might embarass the rest of us by their behavior.

    You are so right in warning that if they start boycotting these cruise, most Americans will think twice about vacationing in the Caribbean.

    I feel badly for the loss of Wendy Wasserstein.

  2. Anonymous February 1, 2006 at 11:23 pm


    I really appreciate your extremely intelligent defense of gay rights. My brother is gay and it made him cry becasue of the way chruch people treat him down here. Thank you so very much.


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