Shock shot around Mobile Bay on Sunday as word quickly passed that actor, columnist/blogger and playwright Danielle Juzan died suddenly in the early hours of April 24. The cause of death for the 55-year-old was a sudden cardiac event.
An omnipresent component of the area’s arts world and community activism, Juzan was readying for her May 6 premiere in Theatre 98’s production of “The Glass Menagerie.” Director Jon Robitaille called Juzan a “brilliant and professional actress” and said he is scrambling to ready a replacement; the possibility of delaying the opening remains.The Louisiana native moved to Mobile with her husband in the 1990s and became a fixture of the cultural scene, appearing in nearly 30 stage productions. She won widespread acclaim for her commitment to roles such as Mobile Theatre Guild’s 2001 production of “Wit.”
She went on to impress theatre-goers with her work in plays like Joe Jefferson Playhouse’s “The Lion in Winter.” She portrayed writer Emily Dickinson in a one-woman work “The Belle of Amherst” in 2014.
Juzan’s writing was just as well-known. She penned a string of satirical plays within the last ten years, some which served as fundraisers for local institutions.
She worked as a columnist for the arts and culture website ModMobilian. Juzan was a finalist for Favorite Local Blog in the 2015 Nappie Awards for her blog A Rich Interior Life.
She became known for her active role in community projects and as a member of All Saints Episcopal Church. Mobile City Councilman Levon Manzie announced through social media that a new dog park to be established at Crawford Park will be named after Juzan in memory of her visible and vocal efforts toward its realization.
Juzan leaves a husband, Dr. Allen Perkins, a son Henry and daughter Lucy.
Robitaille noted plans for a memorial service on Saturday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church but they are as yet unconfirmed.
Lagniappe will have more in the April 28 issue.
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