Sad news about a Fresno theater veteran is making the rounds today. Joyce Anabo, who delighted audiences in a variety of comedic and dramatic roles through the years at Good Company Players, Theatre 3 and other companies, died of natural causes at her home last week. She was 76.
Ms. Anabo touched thousands of students’ lives during a long career teaching drama, English and psychology at Hoover High School and Bullard High School. And she touched the lives of thousands of theatergoers over the years as well.
I was able to confirm the news this morning with Justine Logan, one of her two daughters. (Her other daughter, Julia Anabo, is also in town helping make arrangements.) The coroner’s office has not yet issued a death certificate with the date of death.
The last play I remember seeing Ms. Anabo in was a jaunty 2015 GCP production of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” in which she played one of three unhappy siblings thrown together in a tumultuous reunion. In that show she got to wear a tiara and an extravagant sequined gown with a thigh-high slit – quite the statuesque image. (The Bee photo shoot was pretty fun, too.) She was hilarious in the show, of course, just as she injected so much wit and stage presence into many of her memorable roles.
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I’ll be doing an extended story on Ms. Anabo next week, but for now I’m hoping that friends and colleagues can chime in with some favorite memories and productions to share. You can add your thoughts as a comment on this story or in a private email or Facebook message to me. (My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.) Photo attachments are welcome, too. I’ll incorporate some of these memories into my extended piece.
A private memorial service will be held but has not yet been scheduled. Those interested in attending can contact Logan at 307-690-4632.