The Suzzanne Douglas Memorial Commissioning Fund


As an actor, activist, educator and advisor, Suzzanne Douglas’ voice and vision helped to shape Luna Stage. We wish to honor her stunning onstage presence, her mentorship of early-career artists, and her commitment to new work that engages issues of social justice.

Luna has a long history of commissioning and producing new plays, and of launching the careers of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) playwrights who go on to make substantial contributions to the field, including Matthew Lopez, Nikkole Salter, and many others. Over these past several years, Luna has moved ever-further in the direction of social practice art-making, commissioning plays that speak directly to the central issues of our times. 


The Suzzanne Douglas Memorial Commissioning Fund reflects and sustains Suzzanne’s commitment to creating powerful theatrical experiences that reflect the experience of communities of color while nurturing the next generation of BIPOC artists.

Each year for the next 10 years, Luna will commission a new play by an emerging BIPOC playwright that actively engages themes of social justice. These projects will be chosen by Luna’s creative team in collaboration with Suzzane’s life partner Jonathan Cobb. Each playwright will be given $5000/year for two years to support the creation of a new full-length play. Luna will commit to the nurturance and development of these pieces, and their subsequent public performance.


We invite you to join us in honoring Suzzanne’s legacy by supporting these bold new commissioned projects.


Suzzanne Douglas

April 12, 1957-July 6, 2021

Suzzanne was an integral part of our Luna Stage family. In addition to her glorious work onstage, Suzzanne served on our advisory board. We were deeply privileged to be the beneficiaries of her ferocious talent, profound wisdom, infinite generosity, fierce commitment to social justice, and love for her artistic community.

Suzzanne starred in the first performance in our West Orange space,

The Old Settler, in 2010. 

In early 2020, Suzzanne and her husband Jonathan Cobb co-produced Luna's regional premiere of Pass Over, a searing indictment of systemic racism.

The vitality and depth that Suzzanne brought to her performances in film, television, and on stage have thrilled and moved audiences across the globe. Some of her starring roles include the WB sitcom The Parent 'Hood, the theatrical film Tap, the Broadway play Wit, and most recently the Netflix miniseries When They See Us

In 2019, she made her final appearance on Luna's stage

in a dynamic and moving jazz concert.

We will miss her infectious laugh, her huge heart, her incredibly high standards and her faith in us all.