Debbi Morgan

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Playwright Lesli Lee dies at age 83

By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Lesli Lee, one of America‚Äôs most significant Black playwrights prior to the emergence of August Wilson, died January 20 in Manhattan at 83 of congestive heart failure. Lee is best known for his Obie Award-winning and Tony-nominated drama about middle-class life, The First Breeze of Summer (Negro Ensemble Company). The original cast included company founder Douglas Turner Ward, Frances Foster and Moses Gunn. Not until Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Fuller and later Wilson was another African American author similarly accomplished. A 2008 revival of The First Breeze of Summer (Signature Theatre Company), directed by noted actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson, won honors at the prestigious Audelco Awards. Continue Reading →

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