“Elizabeth Swados, a composer, writer and director who fashioned a unique style of socially engaged musical theater, drawing on a global menu of musical styles and a street-level engagement with the politics of the dispossessed, died on Tuesday in Manhattan,” The New York Times reports.
Swados, 64, died of complications from surgery for esophageal cancer that she underwent in April.
Swados had a breakout hit with the 1978 musical revue “Runaways,” about runaway teenagers. She earned four Tony nominations personally for the project, which originated at the Public Theater’s Cabaret before moving to Broadway. Swados “wrote and directed the play, whose cast was made up of 18 troubled young people she had interviewed while researching broken families,” The Times reports. “She also composed the music, contributed the lyrics and played guitar offstage.”