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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: December ::
The Death of Susan Wright
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 336. Tuesday, 31 Dec 1991.
 
 
From: 		Ken Steele <
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Subject: 	The Death of Susan Wright
Date: 		Tue, 31 Dec 91 8:23:20 EST
 
Some tragic news from Stratford, Ontario yesterday: 44-year-old actress
Susan Wright and her parents perished in a house fire there Sunday night.
 
One of Canada's most prominent actresses, Wright played leading roles with
most major companies across the country, including the Shaw Festival,
Vancouver Playhouse, Neptune Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, and Robin
Phillips' Grand Theatre Company.  She won Dora Mavor Moore Awards as
best actress for her performances in *New World* and *A Lie of the Mind*.
Wright was also Co-Founder and Associate Director of the Persephone
Theatre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Wright's film and television work
included principal roles in *Thick as Thieves*, *The Wars*, and the series
*Adderly*, and she won a 1985 ACTRA Award as Best Actress for the role
of Elizabeth in CBC's *Slim Obsession*.
 
Wright had just completed her seventh season with the Stratford Festival,
playing Mrs. Webb in *Our Town*, Germaine Lauzon in *Les Belles Soeurs*, and
the Citizen's Wife in *The Knight of the Burning Pestle*.  (The latter two
performances, in particular, were the highlights of the respective
productions).  In past seasons, Wright has performed Mistress Quickly in
*MWW*, Queen Margaret in *R3*, the Countess in *AWEW*, Paulina in
*WT*, and the Queen in *Cymbeline* (among many other roles).
 
Wright had already been cast to play Mistress Overdone in next season's
*MM*, Denise in Michel Tremblay's *Bonjour, La, Bonjour*, Shirley in
Willy Russell's one-woman show *Shirley Valentine*, and three parts in
Robertson Davies's *World of Wonders*.  (Stratford has not yet made any
announcement, but it seems at least a possibility that *Shirley Valentine*
will be cancelled or postponed in response to Wright's death.)
 
Susan Wright was delighted to play opposite her sisters, Anne Wright and
Janet Wright, in this season's *Les Belles Soeurs*, arguably the season's
best production.  Anne Wright has just completed her sixth season with the
Festival, playing Viola in *12N*, Gabrielle in *Les Belles Soeurs*, and
Georgette in *The School for Wives*.  In previous seasons she has
performed Helena in *MSND*, Alice and Mistress Quickly in *H5*, and
Lucetta in *2GV*, as well as appearances in *Macbeth*, *TC*, and
*MAAN*.  Janet Wright debuted at the Stratford Festival last season in *Les
Belles Soeurs*, and has been cast as Maria in next season's *Uncle Vanya*,
and Gilberte in *Bonjour, La, Bonjour*.
 
I am sure many other SHAKSPEReans will share my sense of loss and
concern for the family.  I will remember Susan Wright's Mistress Quickly,
Germaine Lauzon, and Citizen's Wife, as long as I read those plays,
and I very much regret missing the work she might have accomplished in
the years ahead.
					Ken Steele
					University of Toronto
					
 

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