Remembrance Of Yanna Kroyt Brandt

Those of you who knew her will be shocked, as I was, to learn that Yanna met an untimely death as a result of an automobile accident on the Saw Mill River Parkway on June 6, 2008. A writer, director, and producer, she was a long-time member of the Writers Guild of America, East, as well as a member of the Actors Studio. Her extraordinary talent embraced film, television, and the legitimate stage. She received nine Emmys, a WGA award, a Peabody, an ACT, several Cindies, numerous Golden Eagles, awards from American Women In Radio And Television, and awards from film festivals including Houston and Sundance. Above and beyond these honors, she will be remembered for her warm, generous nature that endeared her to friends and co-workers.

I was lucky enough to have Yanna direct two plays that I wrote in addition to the staged reading of a screenplay that was part of a WGAE reading series. In all cases, she was inspiring to me as a writer, rich in suggestions that enhanced the play, and always respectful of the written word. She was the director that every playwright wishes for.

Her survivors include her husband Nat Brandt, a distinguished writer of books with whom Yanna sometimes collaborated; and a daughter, Ariane Brandt an actress who has often appeared in plays that her mother directed. Yanna also leaves two sons and a grandchild.

I saw her only a few months ago at the Writers Guild party that celebrated the successful conclusion of our strike. We discussed a possible project we might do together. I didn‘t

know then, and can hardly believe now, that the conversation would be our "goodbye."