'For Colored Girls' playwright Ntozake Shange dead at 70

Credit: Rob Kim

Credit: Rob Kim

Ntozake Shange, a noted playwright, author and poet who wrote the 1975 Tony Award-nominated play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf,” has died. Her family confirmed the news on Shange’s Twitter page Saturday. She was 70 years old.

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“To our extended family and friends, it is with sorrow that we inform you that our loved one, Ntozake Shange, passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of October 27, 2018. Memorial information / details will follow at a later date,” Shange’s family said in a statement.

Shange, who was born Paulette L. Williams, first produced "For Colored Girls," a choreopoem, off-Broadway. It was adapted into a book in 1977, Deadline reported. Tyler Perry adapted the play into a film in 2010.

The Associated Press reported Shange wrote 15 other plays, six novels, three essay collections, five children's books and 19 poetry collections.

"Zake was a woman of extravagance and flourish, and she left quickly without suffering," Shange's sister, Ifa Bayeza, told the Star Tribune. "It's a huge loss for the world. I don't think there's a day on the planet when there's not a young woman who discovers herself through the words of my sister."

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