Lee Nagrin
Lee Nagrin
Playwright Lee Nagrin, whose new work Behind the Lid will debut in New York City next week, succumbed to complications from advanced colon cancer this morning in New York City. She was 78.

In addition to being a playwright, Nagrin, who was originally from Seattle, was a visual artist, performer, singer, choreographer, and director. She moved to New York in 1950 and was instrumental in the development of several Off-Broadway theaters, including the Sullivan Street Playhouse, the Bridge Theatre, and the Downtown Theatre. She produced, directed and/or performed in 10 Off-Broadway productions between 1950 and 1963.

From 1971 to 1981, Nagrin was a member of Meredith Monk's company, The House, with whom she developed and performed in a number of works. In 1979, she formed her own company, The Sky Fish Ensemble. Her 1986 work Bird/Bear won an Obie Award for Best New American Play. Over the years, her work was also seen at such venues as La MaMa, the 92nd Street Y, St. Mark's Church, and the Silver Whale Gallery, where Behind the Lid will have a 12-performance run beginning on June 12.

Nagrin is survived by her longtime companion, Bruce Hutchinson. A memorial service will be held at a later date.