In Memoriam

The League of Professional Theatre Women remembers honored members who have recently passed away.

Marion Simon

December, 2013
Born in Philadelphia, Marion lived in Providence 25 years working in various administrative capacities at Trinity Rep under the Artistic Direction of Adrian Hall. Among them: Education and Humanities Projects, Equity contracts and negotiations, casting and company management, touring, fundraising, subscription, public and press relations. Taught Theatre Management at Rhode Island College chaired the Langston Hughes Center for the Arts, was a member of the R.I. Film Commission and R.I. Committee for the Humanities, translated L’Atelier for Trinity Rep and Crystal Night for UBU. She lived in NYC and volunteered at the Actors’ Work Program of the Actors’ Fund and was a trustee of the Wellfleet Harbor Actors’ Theatre on Cape Cod. She held degrees from the University of Pennsylvania (BA), Brown University (MA), and Rhode Island College (Honorary), and received the 2001 Adrian Hall Award at the Pells Award for Excellence in the Arts in Rhode Island. She was instrumentally involved in the LPTW International Committee, and served on the LPTW Board for many years.

Honey Waldman

December, 2013
HONEY WALDMAN was involved with just about every aspect of theatrical activity. Starting with being an apprentice at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine, graduating into her first paid position working for Miss Duffy at the Shubert office ushering! During spring break On the Town, during Christmas break Othello, saw each show 12 times, and was paid for it. Glorious! Then to actress, prop girl, backstage technician, stage manager, producer, and theatre owner, having built and owned the Tappan Zee Playhouse (now the nonprofit theatre in Nyack, known as the Helen Hayes Performing Arts Center). The Playhouse established a national reputation for professional productions and all-star casts that included Jack Benny, Helen Hayes, and Liza Minnelli. She built and operated the Off Broadway Bouwerie Lane Theatre, and produced the highly successful Family Business at the Astor Place Theatre, as her own theatre was fully booked. Honey established the Honey Waldman Fund at the League of Professional Theatre Women as a special fund for members in need. She majored in English at Emerson, with a minor in speech and drama, and established the Waldman Chair in Theater Arts, in the Emerson Department of Performing Arts in 2007, funded by Honey Waldman (Emerson ’46) and her sister, Gladys Waldman Brownstein, in honor of their parents, Harry Waldman and Dora Winiker. Suzan Lori Parks is the 2013 Waldman Chair at Emerson.

Sally Dixon Wiener

December, 2013
WIENER–Sally Ann Dixon, of Manhattan and Aquinnah, died at her NY home on November 13th. Born in Burlington, Iowa on September 18, 1926 to George and Ellen Dixon. Sally attended Tucson High School and earned a degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. Beginning with her “junior year abroad” at Barnard College, she loved New York City and after writing for dailies in the west she returned to work for several papers in New York. She wrote short stories under the name Samuel Devon Warner. She later studied piano and playwriting at the New School and wrote many musicals and plays which were produced at The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse and Off Off Broadway venues in New York. A member of The League of Professional Theatre Women, The Dramatists Guild, and The Writers Room, she wrote for the Dramatist’s Guild Quarterly and The Best Plays of the Year series. Excellent linguist and fearless traveler, deft artist, endlessly patient mother, Sally was a woman of great humor and resilience. She was predeceased by her husband John A. Wiener and brother George L. Dixon. Sally will be missed, every day, by her children John Wiener, Ellen Wiener, and Ann Stodder; brother-in-law Geoffrey Wiener; companion Van Rogers; grandchildren Sophia, Emma, Claire and Samuel; by Michael and Andrew Wiener and many other nephews and nieces, and by her friends in New York and on the Vineyard. Service at 3pm, December 20. Church of the Ascension, 12 West 11th St., New York.

Published in The New York Times on Dec. 1, 2013
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Francoise Kourilsky

January, 2013
Francoise was the founder and artistic director of Ubu Repertory Theater in New York from 1982-2001. She also founded with of Joseph Chaikin and Meredith Monk The Center for Theater Practice. Many knew her as an ambassador of French theatrical culture, introducing many French and francophone playwrights to the US audience by translating and presenting their work.

Berenice Weiler

April, 2012
Berenice Weiler, a producer and theatrical general manager, died of natural causes in Manhattan on April 28. She was 88.
She worked as an advance director for star-package shows on the summer stock circuit, including the resident stock theater in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Later Weiler joined a USO tour to entertain occupation forces in Europe in the wake of WWII. After returning to the U.S., she eventually found work in live television, first as a casting director and then as an associate producer on dramas including “Hallmark Hall of Fame.” She was associate producer of “Sid Caesar Presents” on NBC and later ABC, subsequently taking the show to London for a season on British TV.

Returning to stage work, Weiler joined the management of the American Shakespeare Festival Theater in Stratford, Conn., rising to managing producer. She resigned in 1973 to become the administrative director for Frank Dunlop’s BAM Theater Company.

With Marilyn S. Miller she formed Weiler/Miller in 1978. The New York-based general management firm managed many Broadway and Off Broadway productions, including “Nine.”

Weiler was executive Director of the University/Resident Theater Assn., president and a founding member of the League of Professional Theater Women, Secretary-Treasurer of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers and the president of the National Theater Conference. She was also adjunct professor at the U. of Miami.

Weiler was a lifelong resident of Manhattan and attended Hunter College.

Donations may be made to the Actors Fund.

Norma_LangworthyNorma Langworthy

January 2012

Norma Langworthy passed on Saturday, January 28th, 2012. Norma was a producer with a shining resume of Broadway and Off-Broadway credits. Her Broadway credits included: Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (winner of Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play and a Tony Nomination for Best Revival of a Play); Sweet Sue, Getting and Spending, The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Off-Broadway: Cliffhanger, The Perfect Party, The Road to Mecca, and The Springhill Singing Disaster. Contributions can be made in her memory to the Roundabout Theatre, and condolences can be sent to one of her daughters, Mrs. Leslie Beller, at 867 Presidents Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215.

MaryC_HendersonMary C. Henderson

January 2012

Mary C. Henderson, a scholar of the theater whose interests as a historian and curator spanned centuries and as a Tony nominator and critic were up to the minute, died on Jan. 3 at her home in Congers, N.Y. She was 83. Ms. Henderson’s most important work, “Theater in America: 250 Years of Plays, Players and Productions” (1986, revised in 1996), is a concise history, valued by students and teachers, that tells the country’s theatrical tale in chapters that focus on individuals and individual professions: producers, playwrights, actors and others. She is survived by her three sons, Doug, James and Stuart, as well as two sisters and four grandchildren. For more information, please see an article written about her in the Theater section of the New York Times by clicking here.

Jen Nelson

July 2010

Jen (Jean Bower) passed away at home on July 17. An admired actress who starred on Broadway in “The Sound of Music” and “The Aspern Papers” and tour of “Fiorello,” Ms. Nelson also was a singer in supper clubs. Later, she was a marketing and group sales specialist whose many innovations are still being used. She was a compassionate, selfless person with a zest for life. She always made time to help others and to mentor young people. She will be remembered for her great style, her flair, and her sense of fun. She is survived by her niece Donna Todd of Seattle, her grandniece Carrie Bulmer-King, and great-grandnieces and grandnephews. A celebration of her life is being planned.

Published in The New York Times on July 23, 2010

Heather_Duke_BroadwayWorld_smHeather Duke

July 2010

Heather Duke-Hoover passed away from a sudden illness on July 13, 2010, where she was surrounded by her loved ones. Heather was born in Monticello, NY on September 25, 1942 to Benjamin and Selma Duke. Heather had a long and varied career. She was a registered nurse at Nyack Hospital, a newspaper publisher, a Broadway producer of the musical “Little Women”, she had her own company Duke Marketing Inc, and she was the Director of tourism for Rockland County since 1994. Heather was loved by all who knew her. She was kind, generous and compassionate. Heather is survived by her husband Robert, her three sons Benjamin Lungen, Daniel Lungen, and Joshua Lungen and her brother, Peter Duke. Heather will be missed dearly by her grandchildren Michael, Cory, Tyler, Jessica, Joey and step grandchildren Samantha, Matthew, Gabriella and Chyna. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

sylvia_schwartzSylvia Schwartz

June 2010

Sylvia was a former board member and led the LPTW’s Sunshine efforts. She attended and assisted with many events and activities over the years, and she will be missed. Our thoughts are with her family and many friends at this difficult time.