I was very sad this morning to hear that Douglas Tonks, the husband of my longtime theater colleague and friend Francesca Robyn Peppiatt, suddenly passed away. I’ve known Francesca and Doug since around 1999, the year I started Stockyards Theatre Project, and we worked together on a lot of productions and readings both there and through the Women’s Theater Alliance. Francesca and Doug were also instrumental in keeping Stockyards and WTA going for all of these years after I and other co-founders/administrators stepped away to focus on raising our children and our non-theater careers.
Doug was also my fellow reporter and publishing colleague, having worked at the Hollywood Reporter, Publications International, and more recently in medical communications. He was only 56. Doug and Francesca were originally from Canada and came to the US to work in media and entertainment.
I will miss Doug and my thoughts are with Francesca at this difficult time. I am forever grateful to both of them for being longtime keepers of the women’s theater flame in Chicagoland.
I also am sad to report that many, many Chicago theater and communications people have died too young over the past year or so. Makes me think of the old saying, “Never complain about growing old. It’s a privilege denied to many.”