Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lynn Manning, award-winning poet, playwright, actor, co-founder of Watts Village Theater Company in Los Angeles, dies at age 60

From City News Service in Los Angeles:

Funeral services were pending August 4 for Lynn Manning, the co-founder and artistic director of theWatts Village Theater Company.
Manning died Monday from liver cancer at age 60. 
An award-winning poet, playwright and actor who rose to inspirational heights after being blinded by a gunshot at age 23, Manning worked for decades to provide theater and arts education to the communities of Watts and South Los Angeles. 
Originally a painter, Manning rededicated his life to the written word after a stranger shot and blinded him in a Hollywood bar, according to the WVTC. 
Manning, who co-founded the theater company in 1996, was also a former world champion in Blind Judo. 
He was recognized by President Barack Obama just two weeks ago at a White House celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the WVTC. 
At the time of his death, Manning was helping the company prepare for the upcoming production of “Riot/Rebellion” beginning Aug. 14, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Watts riots. 
“Lynn had a radiant passion and talent for theater,” according to a statement from the WVTC board. “The WVTC community is grieving with deep sorrow. For some time, WVTC has been working with Lynn through this difficult period to ensure that we continue his legacy. Los Angeles has lost a gem and one of Watts’ finest.”