Playwright P.J. Barry Dies at 88

Obituaries   Playwright P.J. Barry Dies at 88
Barry penned Broadway's The Octette Bridge Club, among other plays.
PJ Barry obit.jpg

Philip James 'P.J.' Barry, the writer of The Octette Bridge Club, seen on Broadway in 1985, has died at age 88. In addition to his work as a playwright, he was an actor and director who worked extensively Off-Broadway and regionally.

The news of Mr. Barry's September 2 death, following a battle with cancer, was confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter by his son, Matthew Barry.

His other plays include And Fat Freddy's Blues, which was the recipient of the HBO Award at the National Playwrights Conference of the O'Neill Theater Center, and later performed in Russia; Heritage, a play about the women in Lincoln's life seen at the Lucille Lortel Theatre; and Toast and Jelly, which was produced at the George Street Playhouse.

Mr. Barry was the artistic director of the Hudson Guild Theatre in New York City for seven years where he directed several productions, including some of his own plays.

Other plays produced Off- and Off Off-Broadway include The Kiss of Life, She Played Good Piano, Light Me a Candle, The Love Man’s Gone Away, Down By the Ocean, A Distance from Calcutta, and After the Dancing in Jericho.

The Octette Bridge Club, about eight sisters who meet twice a month to play bridge, was first performed as a staged reading at Baltimore’s Center Stage and subsequently at the 1984 Humana Festival of New Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.