Playwright Ntozake Shange passes at 70

AmNews Staff Reports | 10/28/2018, 3:46 p.m.
Reports indicate that Black playwright Ntozake Shange has died.
Ntozake Shange Photo by Demetria Irwin

Reports indicate that Black playwright Ntozake Shange has died. She is best known for the play the 1976 Broadway play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf." Shange was 70.

Ntozake Shange  and Michele Wallace

Contributed

Ntozake Shange and Michele Wallace

Her daughter said Shange died in her sleep at an assisted living facility on Saturday in Bowie, MD. Shange reportedly suffered several strokes in 2004.

A noted playwright, poet and author, Shange was born in Trenton, N.J. She wrote over a dozen plays and over 30 poetry, fiction and children's books. Her last work was was a poetry collection titled, Wild Beauty in 2017.

Shange's best-known play was the 1976 Broadway production "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf." The play features a series of poetic monologues with music and dance.

In 1977, the play won the Obie Award for Distinguished Production and was nominated for Best Play at the 1977 Tony Awards. Actress Trazana Beverley won the Tony Award that year for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in the production.

Filmmaker Tyler Perry produced a film adaptation of the play in 2009 starring Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg and Phylicia Rashad,