In May this year Doug Ward celebrated his 80th birthday. There were no announcements in the press, no public appreciations of his life and contributions, no retrospectives of his work as there were and still are for Stephen Sondheim who is also 80 this year. Instead there was an intimate family celebration that included his wife Diana, his son Douglas Jr. and his daughter Elizabeth along with his grandchildren and a few close friends.
In other matters Ward along with his wife were actively involved with putting together a video production shoot of his single character play Dessalines. This is the third part of his epic 3 play cycle called The Haitian Chronicles with Doug performing the title role. This activity has been temporarily sidelined when it was announced that Ward, who has enjoyed a remarkable run of good health thus far, would have to undergo a very long and serious operation for a cancer related illness that had swollen the side of his neck and left his speech somewhat impaired.
I saw Doug in May some days before surgery was to take place. He was full of fun and in his usual high spirits. We talked about the operation being a temporary interruption to his plans and how he intends to proceed with the Dessalines project once he is fully recovered.
The operation, from all reports, was a success and he is recuperating nicely. I’ve spoken to Doug himself so I’m giving this report from first hand information. The Alumni‘s of the NEC Organization have rallied around Doug to offer support and urges anyone who wants more information to contact either Joyce Sylvester or Deborah McGee at 212-629-2018.