Anne Commire

Anne Commire (11 August 1939 – 23 February 2012) was an American playwright and editor who frequently wrote about women's issues and struggles.[1] Her first play, Shay, about a young pregnant high school dropout, was noted by the New York Times for having "sharp comic dialogue" despite the weighty subject matter.[2]

Commire received the Eugene O'Neill Theater Award four times between 1973 and 1988.[3] She wrote the teleplay Rebel for God for CBS, and also has written for Dick Cavett, and Washington D.C.’s Spread Eagle Review, and Mariette Hartley’s one-woman show.[4] She and Hartley co-wrote Breaking the Silence which was Harley's memoir about her difficult early years and how Hartley would no longer be keeping the secrets of her earlier difficult life.[1][5]

Commire was born in Wyandotte, Michigan and received a bachelor's degree in 1961 from Eastern Michigan University.[1] She initially worked as a teacher and an editor for reference books for Gale Group. She later edited the sixteen-volume Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia which received the Dartmouth Medal for outstanding reference work in 2002.[1]

Commire died of cancer in 2012 and her papers are held by the University of Southern Mississippi.[6][7]



  • Shay
  • Put Them All Together. Premiered at the Coronet Theatre, 1982.
  • The Melody Sisters
  • Starting Monday
  • The NOW Show


  • (ed.) Yesterday's authors of books for children : facts and pictures about authors and illustrators of books for young people, from early times to 1960, Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1977
  • (with Mariette Hartley) Breaking the Silence, 1990
  • (ed.) 'Historic world leaders, Detroit : Gale Research Inc., 1994
  • (ed.) Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia, 17 vols., 2000.
  • (ed.) Dictionary of women worldwide: 25,000 women through the ages, Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 3 vols., 2007
  • Moorville [8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Anne Commire dies at 72; playwright tackled women's hardships". Chicago Tribune. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  2. ^ "Stage: Anne Commire's 'Shay'". The New York Times. 1978-03-08. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  3. ^ Valerie J, Nelson, Anne Commire dies at 72; playwright tackled women's hardships, Los Angeles Times, 4 April 2012
  4. ^ "Author Bio: Anne Commire". Heinemann. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  5. ^ "No More Secrets". Chicago Tribune. 1991-10-27. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  6. ^ "Anne Commire Papers". The University of Southern Mississippi -- de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  7. ^ "Long Island's & NYC's News Source - Newsday". Newsday. Retrieved 2021-03-03.
  8. ^ Commire, Anne; Heller, Matthew. "MOOREVILLE". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2021-03-03.