In Memory of Lenore Doxsee

Lenore Doxsee passed away on Friday, May 19th. She had lived with ovarian cancer for the past four years with astonishing strength and humor.

No one did more than Lenore Doxsee to shape and build the vision that is the best of Target Margin Theater. Lenore was a foundational member of the company, designing the lights for Titus Andronicus and countless TMT shows, as well as designing scenery (and even costumes) for many more. She was Associate Artistic Director for years because although she always led our design work, her artistry shaped our programming and artistic culture as a whole. Together we read plays, reviewed portfolios, discussed and questioned every decision pertaining to the life of TMT. She served on the Board from the start; she supervised and cultivated our Lab artists; she planned budgets and calendars. Along the way we all consumed no small quantity of red wine and steak and oysters, all to the betterment of our artistic process, of course. Without her Target Margin would never have had the impact, never have achieved the growth and stability, never have built the rigorous artistic culture which is our greatest pride.

For me personally she was the indispensable partner. Lenore was the artist I could always ask the tricky questions that had been nagging at me in rehearsal; she was the eye that corrected my fruitless wandering, and the heart that kept me true when the work seemed most chaotic and rootless. She understood me from the start. We shared the kind of weird language that two people only can nurture over hundreds of hours spent around midnight in dark theaters. She became my work and I hope desperately that in some small way I became hers too. We met—was it really by the chance of a telephone message?—27 years ago, and over that time we created each other artistically. Now I know her loss will never leave me, and I will spend the rest of my working life seeking a level of collaborative joy to match ours.

To honor Lenore look at the world with fresh irreverence every day, and please give to The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.

David Herskovits

31 Responses to In Memory of Lenore Doxsee

  1. morgan jenness says:

    so so sorry. what a loss all around.

    much love to you David…I know it has been difficult for awhile and you both did magnifcant work in the face of it all

  2. Sara Juli says:

    So sorry for your loss. She will be missed by so many.

  3. Judy Boals says:

    Beautiful, stunning, magnificent collaboration over the years. I will not forget a single Target Margin production. Sorry for your loss David… She is an inspiration.

  4. One of the things I loved most about Lenore as an artist was the beautiful and impressive balance of her artistry, intelligence and groundedness. Often as artists, particularly women artists, particularly young women artists, we are told that we must be about passion/craziness/intuitiveness… you get the picture. I first met Lenore back in “Titus” days, and she exemplified in both her work and her approach to her work, though she was not much older than me, a much much better model to aspire to.

    I am so glad that being part of the Target Margin family, I had the opportunity to be bathed in her light on stage, see so many other productions that she put her vision on, and get to talk with her. I know it’s a deep loss, deep on many levels. Much love.

  5. Laura Zambrano says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Lenore was always a pleasure to work with. She was generous with her time and knowledge and helped me out many times at Nada. She was extremely talented and will be sorely missed.

  6. James Nicola says:

    A tragedy. You write so beautifully about her, David. You have my heart.

  7. Julie Fain Lawrence says:

    Oh David, I’m so sad to hear this news and so sorry for your very personal loss. What a beautiful tribute you wrote to honor Lenore. May Target Margin continue to be blessed with the collaborative spirit of Lenore Doxsee.
    Much love,

  8. Christian Specht says:


    It was a great pleasure being able to work with you. We lost a wonderful person and mentor.

  9. Paul Boocock says:

    David – such a huge loss to the theatre arts; just loved her work and her sense of the absurdity of it all… And so sorry for your loss personally … Sending love

  10. Katie Down says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I knew Lenore many years ago and we worked together on a couple of shows. I always enjoyed being in her presence and she was a consummate artist and beautiful human being. I had no idea she was ill. My deepest condolences to her family and friends and collaborators.

  11. Marcina says:

    Wishing you courage and strength in this difficult time.

  12. David Eye says:

    I am stunned and saddened by this news. I so enjoyed the times I got to work with Lenore.

  13. David Eye says:

    And David, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and #1 collaborator.

  14. Scott Rabinowitz says:

    “In peace and honour rest you here,
    Rome’s readiest champion, repose you here in rest,
    Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
    Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
    Here grow no damned grudges; here are no storms,
    No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
    In peace and honour rest you here,

  15. Mary Neufeld says:

    We spoke of sailing. She told me about spending a portion of one summer sailing on Lake Superior with her father. To him, I send my deepest condolences. She told me about the clear frigid water in that lake. I told her of reading that the geology of cliffs of the lake were shared with cliffs in Peru. She said, “that’s why they reminded me of Peru!” I basked in her lighting. Her art inspired me. Always when I think of Target Margin I think of David and Lenore. Condolences to Paul, a fine shipmate. Mary

  16. Colleen Balch says:

    Hey Ta (Lenore), well this just isn’t so easy without you. I know it beats the alternative as you would remind me. I’ll be checking in now and again and glad to know how to reach Hersk. Thanks for it all, a lifetime of laughter, wit, intelligent and challenging conversation, adventures in the theater, on the water, in the kitchen, up in mountains, and wherever life took us. Thank you…

  17. Richard Kuranda says:

    When I was a young director in NYC, I learned more about collaboration and trust from Lenore … there really is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank the heavens for the experience and her joy. Much love.

  18. Liz English says:

    I didn’t know Lenore well, but she mentored some of my favorite collaborators. She had a keen eye and a great wit and had uncompromising artistic standards. I admired her courage to keep creating and supporting younger artists even when she was ill. She was a true original and contributed much. My condolences to all who knew and loved her.

  19. Allison Schubert says:

    I am so saddened to hear this news! I remember Lenore well and the necklace she drew on my chest for Family of Perhaps Three. We talked a lot, I thought she was the coolest. Ovarian cancer struck my grandmother before I was born, it’s a terrible disease with far too little research done on it. I hope to go to the memorial in September.

    Warm regards,
    Allison Schubert

  20. Shawn Powers says:

    I remember Lenore well. Loved working with her and being her neighbor in Brooklyn. This is a time when we cannot afford to lose such a smart, thoughtful individual.

  21. Laurie Uprichard says:

    Such a loss to the field and to you, David. Thanks for your beautiful words.

  22. Jonathan Moscone says:

    David, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Lenore. I remember her so well from our time together under Arden Fingerhut’s tutelage at Williams. She was beautifully talented and filled with integrity well beyond her years even back then. Jon

  23. Barbara wiechmann says:

    Smart, kind, funny, talented, wise.
    An anchor
    I had so much respect for her.
    Dear david- I am sending you and all of Target Margin
    My love .

  24. Mitch Stripling says:

    Lenore was that most rare person: a tough truthful artist who was full to the brim with human empathy and love. I admired her so deeply for so many years both for her teaching and her artistry. She is and will be missed for years and years to come.

  25. Julie Bleha says:

    Lenore, the beautiful, still, simple, perfect black line painted along a back wall of a HERE set evoked Joan of Arc’s world so wonderfully, and I have spent years telling anyone who’d listen about how movingly profound your artistry was, based on that one endeavor (& I know there was so much more). And the few times I saw you afterwards and mentioned my appreciation (admiration), you were so humble and gracious in discussing your gift. Thank you for inspiring us all.

    David, so sorry for your loss, and the company’s. I am sure the work you continue to do will be imbued with her lovely spirit.

  26. LInda Earle says:

    Lenore was a superb theatremaker- her work is woven into my visual memory of TM’s productions and is indelible. David, I’m so sorry for the loss for your friend and collaborator.

  27. Aaron Meadow says:

    I first met Lenore circa 1990 when I was a student and a classmate of mine got an off broadway gig to design a set (it was at the original Theatre Row Theatre). The show was Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

    I wasn’t even on the lighting crew, but I was a young stagehand at the time. What I remember about Lenore was her calm and friendly demeanor. Her lighting was beautiful, though I only got a chance to see it during tech, and most of my view after that was in scene change light.

    I am sorry I didn’t take the time to see more of her work and her last show.

    Lenore, her family, and you folks who knew her (probably a lot better than I had the fortune to) are in my thoughts.

  28. Thomas Jay Ryan says:

    My memories of acting with and watching Target Margin productions are permanently associated with beautiful Lenore. She had grace, taste, and the heart of a lion. There was not a single show she collaborated on that I was not stunned by. A singular artist, and she will be deeply missed.

  29. Robert V. Thurber says:


    I know that like some Shakespearean ghost your voice will continue to guide David’s choices, but we all wish you could do it while actually sitting next to him. R.I.P.

  30. Gordon R Britton Jr says:

    Lenore is my first cousin and I’m sad that we never really spent much time together. Your rememberance at her memorial was so touching please consider posting it?
    Sorry I didn’t get a chance to thank you in person.
    Gordon Britton

  31. Ann C says:

    Lenore and I were on the faculty at NYU together. I greatly enjoyed her company and lovely sense of humor. I will miss her very much.
    Ann Cudworth

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