Douglas Turner Ward, Pioneer in Black Theater, Dies at 90

Considered one of Mr. Ward’s first appearing roles was in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” in 1956 at Circle within the Sq. in Manhattan; one other was as an understudy in Ms. Hansberry’s “A Raisin within the Solar” on Broadway in 1959, with Sidney Poitier and Claudia McNeil within the lead roles.

He additionally started growing as a playwright. In 1965, an Off-Broadway double-bill manufacturing of his satirical one-act comedies “Completely satisfied Ending” and “Day of Absence” grew to become a success, bringing him a Drama Desk Award for excellent new playwright. Surviving a transit strike, the manufacturing ran for 15 months.

Mr. Ward had lead roles in lots of performs, together with “Ceremonies in Darkish Previous Males,” for which he gained the Drama Desk Award, and “The Brownsville Raid,” about an incident of army racial injustice in a Texas city. Clive Barnes, reviewing “Brownsville” for The Instances, wrote “Ward, who, to be frank, I often admire extra as a director than an actor, has by no means been higher.”

Amongst his many awards and honors, Mr. Ward obtained the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award. In 1996, he was inducted into the Theater Corridor of Fame.

He continued to put in writing. Final March, he printed “The Haitian Chronicles,” a sequence of three performs that he had been engaged on for the reason that Seventies, all centered on the Haitian Revolution, which threw off colonial rule within the early 1800s. His spouse stated that he had thought-about the undertaking his magnum opus and that she and others had been hoping to have the performs staged in New York with alumni from the Negro Ensemble Firm.

Along with Ms. Ward, whom he married in 1966, he’s survived by their two youngsters, Elizabeth Ward-Cuprill and Douglas Powell Ward, and three grandchildren.

On the Negro Ensemble Firm, Mr. Ward typically performed matchmaker in connecting actors to roles, looking for out alternatives for folks whom he knew had not been getting a lot work.

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