Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Black Theater Pioneer Shauneille Perry Ryder Dies at 92.

Perry was an actress, playwright and educator who was one of the first Black women to direct plays Off Broadway, most notably for the New Federal Theater.

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that Black theater pioneer Shauneille Perry Ryder has died at age 92.

Perry was an actress, playwright and educator who was one of the first Black women to direct plays Off Broadway, most notably for the New Federal Theater.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, she acted in various productions on the New York City stage including The Goose (1959), Dark of the Moon (1960), Talent '60 (1960), Ondine (1961), Clandestine on the Morning Line (1961) and The Octoroon (1961).

She then turned her focus to directing, with Mau Mau Room, at the Negro Ensemble Companym the first major stage production of a play written by J. E. Franklin. In 1971, Perry staged three different productions: Rosalie Pritchett, Sty of the Blind Pig and the original off-Broadway production of J. E. Franklin's play Black Girl.

In addition to directing, Perry has written several plays including the book of the children's musical Mio, which she staged as a workshop production at the New Federal Theatre in the fall of 1971. Other plays she either wrote or co-wrote include Last Night, Night Before (1971), Daddy Goodness (1979), and Things of the Heart: Marian Anderson's Story (1981).[6]

Perry has also written "Sounds of the City," a 15-minute daily soap opera that aired on the Mutual Black Network in the mid-1970s.

In 1986, she was hired as Director of Theatre at Lehman College, where she continued to teach until she retired in 2001.



Related Stories

More Hot Stories For You


Photos: John Minnock Makes A Magnificent Return To 54 BelowPhotos: John Minnock Makes A Magnificent Return To 54 Below
August 17, 2022

Earlier this month, award-winning vocalist John Minnock returned for his annual performance at 54 Below.

Photos: The REV Theatre Company Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's STATE FAIRPhotos: The REV Theatre Company Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein's STATE FAIR
August 17, 2022

The REV Theatre Company opens the third production of its 2022 season – Rodgers & Hammerstein’s State Fair. The show runs August 17th – September 6th at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, NY.

Ashkenaz Festival 2022 to Present North American Premiere of Yiddish Opera Henekh Kon's BAS SHEVEAshkenaz Festival 2022 to Present North American Premiere of Yiddish Opera Henekh Kon's BAS SHEVE
August 17, 2022

Ashkenaz Festival 2022 will present the North American premiere of Henekh Kon’s BAS SHEVE based on the controversial biblical story of David and Bathsheba - This is the first Yiddish Opera every presented in Canada.

Opera Philadelphia's Festival O to Return in SeptemberOpera Philadelphia's Festival O to Return in September
August 17, 2022

Excitement is building for the return of Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O after a three-year hiatus.  Festival O22 kicks off Wednesday, September 21, with the company premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s The Raven, a monodrama inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and Noh theater, presented in an immersive audience experience co-produced with Philadelphia’s Obvious Agency.

Photos: JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY Is The Place For Those With A Song In Their Heart!Photos: JIM CARUSO'S CAST PARTY Is The Place For Those With A Song In Their Heart!
August 17, 2022

Every Monday, showbiz superstars hit the stage alongside up-and-comers, serving up jaw-dropping music and general razzle-dazzle on the Birdland stage. Showman Jim Caruso guides the entire affair with razor-sharp humor. Musical director Billy Stritch holds court at the ivories, along with Steve Doyle on bass and Daniel Glass on drums. But the real fun starts when the audience participates in the onstage festivities. Broadway legends, jazzers, cabaret divas, starry-eyed tourists, and kids right off the bus storm the stage to entertain each other. If you have a voice, a dream, and some sheet music, your Cast Party moment awaits.