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Bay Area theater community rallies behind ailing director


Erin Merritt has been a powerful force in Bay Area theater for decades, as a director, actor, producer and as someone who all-around makes things happen.

Founder of the all-female Shakespeare troupe Woman’s Will, Merritt went on to produce events such as the Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Theatre Bay Area Awards, and “Neighborhood Stories,” a series of short performances for audiences to sample from the cars.

In August, Merritt was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a terminal motor neuron disease that has taken away her ability to speak and is progressively hampering other motor functions. At present she communicates primarily through typing.

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