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


Theater Latté Da To Host Panel Discussion With Original Broadway Company Members Of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONGTheater Latté Da To Host Panel Discussion With Original Broadway Company Members Of MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
August 18, 2022

Theater Latté Da (Peter Rothstein, Artistic Director; Elisa Spencer-Kaplan, Managing Director) today announces a special online panel discussion–Our Time: In Conversation with Original Broadway Company Members of Merrily We Roll Along–with original Broadway cast and artistic team members of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1981 musical MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG. 

Hedgerow Theatre Executive Artistic Director Marcie Bramucci Honored By Office Of Accessibility And VSA At The Kennedy CenterHedgerow Theatre Executive Artistic Director Marcie Bramucci Honored By Office Of Accessibility And VSA At The Kennedy Center
August 18, 2022

Hedgerow Theatre's Executive Artistic Director, Marcie Bramucci was recently honored by the Kennedy Center's Office of Accessibility and VSA during the organization's national Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference and annual awards program.

Chicago Dancemakers Forum Gathers Chicagoans For An Improvisers' Dance Jam At Big Marsh ParkChicago Dancemakers Forum Gathers Chicagoans For An Improvisers' Dance Jam At Big Marsh Park
August 18, 2022

​​​​​​​Chicago Dancemakers Forum partners with M.A.D.D. Rhythms, [Un]common Grounds, and We Are Collective for a day of improvisational dance practices in Tap, Contemporary dance, and Freestyle/Hip Hop. The Improvisers' Dance Jam will take place outdoors at Big Marsh Park on the city's southeast side on Saturday, September 24, 2022, 1:00-4:00pm as part of their 5th Annual Celebration of Birds, Bikes, and Beats! Free and open for the public to participate.

Actors' Playhouse Wraps Up Their 34th Season With Heartfelt Romantic Comedy, NOW AND THENActors' Playhouse Wraps Up Their 34th Season With Heartfelt Romantic Comedy, NOW AND THEN
August 18, 2022

As their 34th season comes to an end, Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre is excited to announce the Florida premiere of Sean Grennan's heartfelt romantic comedy, Now and Then.

Playhouse On Park's 14th Main Stage Season Kicks Off With LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILLPlayhouse On Park's 14th Main Stage Season Kicks Off With LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL
August 18, 2022

LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL by Lanie Robertson will run at Playhouse on Park September 28 - October 16, 2022.