MMC Remembers Playwright Wendy Wasserstein and Civil Rights Icon Coretta Scott King

May 03, 2013
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    Coretta Scott King receives her Doctor of Human Letters in 1969.
Marymount Manhattan honors the legacy of two important women leaders of the twentieth century who passed away this week; playwright Wendy Wasserstein and Coretta Scott King, wife of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Both women played a part in MMC’s history.

Ms. Wasserstein passed away Monday, January 30 at the age of 55 following a battle with lymphoma. Her plays, Uncommon Women and Others and Isn’t It Romantic, were first presented in New York in productions at Marymount Manhattan Theatre (now the Theresa Lang Theatre), when it hosted a residency by the Phoenix Theatre. Uncommon Women and Others, which premiered in November 1977, starred “early career actors” Glenn Close, Jill Eikenberry and Swoozie Kurtz.

After playing a visible role on the MMC campus during her work with the Phoenix Theatre, Ms. Wasserstein made trips back to MMC over the years. She spoke as part of the Writing Center’s Best-Selling Authors Series in 1996, and in 2001 she returned for the dedication of the Theresa Lang Theatre, speaking fondly of her memories of Marymount Manhattan. 

Mrs. King died at the age of 78 in Mexico, also on January 30. On June 30, 1969, Marymount Manhattan was honored to bestow her with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. The photograph featured above is from that commencement ceremony. The entire MMC community mourns the loss of this icon of the civil rights movement and keeper of her husband’s legacy following his death in 1968.

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