Playwright, artist and columnist Ntozake Shange, whose best acclaimed amphitheater allotment is the 1975 Tony Award-nominated comedy “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” died Saturday, according to her daughter. She was 70.
Shange’s “For Colored Girls” describes the racism, ism, abandon and abduction accomplished by seven atramentous women. It has been affecting to ancestors of accelerating thinkers, from #MeToo artist Tarana Burke to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lynn Nottage. Afterwards acquirements of Shange’s death, Nottage alleged her “our warrior poet/dramatist.”
Savannah Shange, a assistant of anthropology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, said Saturday that her mother died in her beddy-bye at an assisted active ability in Bowie, Maryland. She had suffered a alternation of acclamation in 2004.
“She batten for, and in actuality embodied, the advancing attempt of atramentous women and girls to alive with address and account in the ambience of systemic racism, ism and oppression,” Savannah Shange said.
“For Colored Girls” is an abstruse alternation of anapestic monologues set to music — Shange coined the anatomy a “choreopoem” for it — by African-American women, anniversary articular alone by a blush that she wears.
Shange acclimated appropriate punctuation and abnormal spellings in her work, arduous conventions. One of her characters shouts, “i will accession my articulation / & scream & bark / & breach things & chase the agent / & acquaint all yr secrets bender yrself to yr face.”
It played some 750 performances on Broadway — alone the additional comedy by an African-American woman afterwards “A Raisin in the Sun” — and was angry into a affection blur by Tyler Perry starring Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, Kerry Washington and Janet Jackson.
Born Paulette Williams in Trenton, New Jersey, she went on to alum from Barnard College and got a master’s amount from the University of Southern California. Her father, Dr. Paul T. Williams, was a surgeon. Her mother, Eloise Owens Williams, was a assistant of amusing work. She after affected a new Zulu name: Ntozake agency “She who comes with her own things” and Shange agency “She who walks like a lion.”
“For Colored Girls” opened at the Public Amphitheater in city Manhattan, with Shange, again 27, assuming as one of the women. The New York Times analyst alleged it “extraordinary and wonderful” and “a actual base but alarming affair for a white man to experience.” It becoming Shange an Obie Accolade and she won a additional such accolade in 1981 for her adjustment of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and Her Children” at the Public Theater.
Shange’s added 15 plays accommodate “A Photograph: A Study of Cruelty” (1977), “Boogie Woogie Landscapes” (1977), “Spell No. 7” (1979) and “Black and White Two Dimensional Planes” (1979).
Her account of appear works includes 19 balladry collections, six novels, bristles children’s books and three collections of essays. Some of her novels are “Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo” (1982) and “Some Sing, Some Cry,” with her sister, Ifa Bayeza. Her balladry collections accommodate “I Alive in Music” (1994) and “The Sweet Breath of Life: A Anapestic Narrative of the African-American Family” (2004). She appeared in an adventure of “Transparent” and helped characterize the 2002 documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.”
She formed with such atramentous amphitheater companies as the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in San Francisco; the New Freedom Amphitheater in Philadelphia; Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey; St. Louis Atramentous Rep; Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota; and The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas.
Shange accomplished at Brown University, Rice University, Villanova University, DePaul University, Prairie View University and Sonoma State University. She additionally lectured at Yale, Howard, New York University, amid others.
In accession to her babe and sister, Shange is survived by sister Bisa Williams, brother Paul T. Williams, Jr. and a granddaughter, Harriet Shange-Watkins.
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