Obituary

Morgan State Mourns Death of Theater Great Shirley Basfield Dunlap

The Morgan State University community is mourning Shirley Basfield Dunlap, a legendary stage director, producer and professor at the school who died June 15.

Dunlap, 67, whose cause of death was not given, helped her students see the importance of becoming storytellers, which has become part of her legacy.

A member of the MSU class of 1974, Dunlap left Morgan in 1995 and returned in 2003, where she directed a number of productions across the country such as August Wilson’s award-winning “Fences,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Fortinbras,” “The Medea Myth” and “Shirley Valentine.”

“We’re sad to hear of the passing of Shirley Basfield Dunlap,” Baltimore Center Stage tweeted. “Her impact on the Baltimore theater community has been great. At @MorganStateU, she served as the coordinator of Theater Arts, where she served as a mentor to many young artists. We will miss you, Shirley.”

As the news of Dunlap’s death spread, former students, colleagues, and supporters expressed their condolences, filling her Facebook page with fond memories and acknowledging the impact she had on the theater world.

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