Pittsburgh's theater community suffered a devastating loss last week with the death of Roni Ostfield. A one-woman local theatrical institution, Ostfield, 71, was founder and artistic director of Pittsburgh Playback Theatre — a company pioneering the use of drama therapy. Ostfield also served for many years as director of City Theatre's Outreach Program, and worked as a teacher, mentor and director.
I had the pleasure of working with Roni on many occasions and, like everyone, was bowled over by her limitless joy and passion; my own sometimes prickly remove never stood a chance against Roni's enveloping spirit and determination to celebrate every moment of living.
Condolences to her husband, Frank Cymerman, her sons, Marc and Alan, and all the family members, friends and fellow artists Roni touched throughout her remarkable life.