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Playwright and Librettist Bridgette Wimberly Passes Away at 68

Playwright and Librettist Bridgette Wimberly Passes Away at 68

Wimberley is best known for her play Saint Lucy's Eyes, which starred Ruby Dee at the Women's Project Theatre in 2001.

According to the New York Times, playwright and librettist Bridgette Wimberley passed away on December 1st at the age of 68 as a result of complications from strokes.

Wimberley is best known for her play Saint Lucy's Eyes, which starred Ruby Dee at the Women's Project Theatre in 2001. She also wrote the libretto of the opera Charlie Parker's Yardbird, which was originally produced in Philadephia in 2015.

Bridgette Wimberly, an award winning poet and author of seven plays, has been commissioned, work shopped and/or produced by The Alliance Theatre, Arena Stage, The Castillo Theatre, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, The Ensemble Studio Theatre, Here/Tiny Mythic Theatre, Karamu Theatre, Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, and The Women's Project.

Rally (Ensemble Studio Theatre, Castillo Theatre, New York) a ten minute play, ran in a series of short plays as part of Going to the River, Ensemble Studio Theatre's program that celebrates African American female playwrights. Bridgette received an Appreciation Award in 2009 from Going to the River for initiating this ten-minute play festival that produced fourteen short plays. Because this series was her idea, this award recognized her contribution, continued support and efforts to serve women playwrights. Rally will be published in 2010 as part of The Best 10 Minute Plays of 2010 by Smith and Kraus.

The Separation of Blood (Kuntu Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh) was commissioned by The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and won the 2007 Healty Black Family Award from the University of Pittsburgh. Bridgette made her Off-Broadway debut to sold-out houses in 2001 at the Women's Project with her first play, Saint Lucy's Eyes, starring Ruby Dee. Originally part of Cherry Lane Theatre's Mentor Project, she was mentored by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein. It also received productions across the country and received three AUDELCO Awards, a Kesslering nomination for best new play, and a Lucille Lortel nomination for best actress, Ruby Dee. Saint Lucy's Eyes is published by Samuel French and is included in Smith and Kraus' Best Plays by Women 2001 and the Women's Project and Production's "A Theatre for Women's Voices" 2003.

Bridgette was part of the 2006/08 Women's Projects Producers Lab, a member of Lincoln Center Theatre's Directors Lab where she produced four satellite productions in collaboration with the Lab, A Manhattan Theatre Club Fellow, and a member of the poetry group Cave Canem. She is also the recipient of fellowships/Awards from The New York Foundation for the Arts (Poetry), The New York Urban Arts Initiative, and the Harlem Arts Alliance for Ballet Neo, a dance TV pilot she wrote with ballerina Virginia Johnson. She has been on the Board of Directors at Cherry Lane Theatre, the longest continuously running Off-Broadway Theatre, for ten years. She recently became a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.

In January 2009/10, she received a grant from The Susan G. Komen for the Cure to teach play writing to breast cancer survivors. New York survivors' plays were presented in a staged reading on October 26, 2009 at Cherry Lane Theatre, Cleveland survivors at Cleveland Play House on April 24, 2010 with legendary actress Ruby Dee and on May 1, 2010 at Karamu House. Both performances sold out. Proudly, From Breast Cancer to Broadway, Cleveland will be produced at Karamu October 29 through November 21, 2010.



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