Wendy Wasserstein, American Playwright

One of America's leading playwrights passed away on Monday. Wendy Wasserstein lost her battle with lymphoma at age 55. The exact type of lymphoma was not released.

The post-feminist icon was very much like the women she wrote about, such as Heidi Holland, the protagonist of The Heidi Chronicles. As she approaches 35, Heidi discovers that she is unfulfilled in her relationships and career. She feels she has been let down or stranded by her generation, which has abandoned its youthful ideals for more traditional values.

Since her first play, Uncommon Women and Others produced in 1975, Wendy Wasserstein has been regarded as the voice of a generation of women who, even today, are caught between their needs to nurture a family and their desire to maintain an intellectual purpose in their lives.

Wendy Wasserstein opened many doors for other artists. Her plays and TV movies were showcases for some of her generation's top actresses - Meryl Streep, Joan Allen, Christine Lahti, and Madeline Kahn. And she founded a theater arts mentoring program for New York City high school students, called Open Doors. Critics, fans and friends agree that Wendy Wasserstein will be remembered as a keen observer of the human condition, a gifted writer, and a trail-blazing artist who contributed much more than plays to the American theater. Voice of America

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