Isabelle Stevenson(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Isabelle Stevenson
(Photo © Michael Portantiere)
Isabelle Stevenson, chairman of the board of the American Theatre Wing, died yesterday at her home in Manhattan. She was 90.

Stevenson was president of the American Theatre Wing from 1966 to 1998, then began serving as chairman of the board when Roy A. Somlyo took over as president. Among the ATW programs she instituted were the "Working in the Theatre" seminars, "Introduction to Broadway," and "Theatre-in-Schools." Stevenson was awarded a special Lifetime Achievement Tony Award in 1999.

She first joined the ATW board in 1957; previously, she had performed on stage in Earl Carroll's Vanities and George White's Scandals. She toured the United States as a dancer and participated in a command performance before Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles at the London Palladium. When she played the Olympia Theatre in Paris, she was hailed as "the blonde Josephine Baker."

In addition, Stevenson studied journalism at New York University and fashion and costume design at the Traphegan School of Design. This led to an editorship at Greystone Publishing where she supervised the publication of books on decorating, design and sewing.

She is survived by two daughters, two grandsons, a great-granddaughter, and a niece. Services will be held in New York City at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue tomorrow (Tuesday, December 30) at 2pm, and the lights of Broadway will be dimmed tomorrow evening in Stevenson's honor.