iCONN News

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another loss - Playwright Wendy Wasserstein


Wendy understood that being considerate in a society of self-involved strivers was not for wimps. It required a steely inner toughness that was the hallmark of many of her heroines.

She also knew her own nature. ''Frankly, I never want to leave a room and be thought of as a horrible person,'' she admitted. But Wendy never explained what the rest of us were supposed to do when she left the room before us.

-- Gail Collins, Copyright New York Times Company Jan 31, 2006 (http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=978529471&Fmt=3&clientId=20549&RQT=309&VName=PQD)

This is the conclusion of an article about the loss of playwright Wendy Wasserstein - a Pulitzer Prize winning author and someone whom I mourn on a more personal level than I do most celebrities because of my connection to her through our respective alma mater - Mt. Holyoke College. She was one of several "favorite daughters", along with Emily Dickinson and an array of other luminaries who shone the way for those of us struggling to achieve in a lovely but sometimes intensely competitive scholarly environment.

You can find information about her throughout the iCONN databases, often in The New York Times as many of her plays were performed in NYC. Her biography is available in Wilson biographies and her photo is available at the AP Photo Archive.

Here's the beginning of the Wilson bio of the late Ms. Wasserstein:
WASSERSTEIN, WENDY (October 18, 1950-), American playwright, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of four children of Morris Wasserstein, a prosperous textile manufacturer, and the former Lola Schleifer, who had both arrived in the United States as children in the 1920s. She was raised on Manhattan's Upper East Side, attended the exclusive Calhoun School, took dancing lessons every Saturday morning at a class run by the famous choreographer June Taylor, and was afterwards permitted to attend a Broadway matinee performance every Saturday afternoon. She moved on to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, majoring in history; she took her bachelor's degree in 1971.

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