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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.

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