Terri Allen, executive director of the D.C. Cabaret Network, dies at 63


Terri Allen was a founding member of the D.C. Cabaret Network and later executive director. (Evy Mages/For The Washington Post)

Terri Allen, executive director of the D.C. Cabaret Network, a group that has promoted cabaret-style entertainment in the region since 1997, died Aug. 22 at a hospital in Washington. She was 63 and lived in the District.

A spokeswoman for the D.C. Medical Examiner’s Office said determination of the cause of death is pending further tests.

For her day job, Ms. Allen was a contractor who wrote and produced videos for the U.S. Census Bureau. She was more widely known as a singer who sometimes acted with local troupes and performed her own cabarets.

Ms. Allen often worked with the women-focused Horizons Theatre, where her credits included the Helen Hayes Award-winning revue “A . . . My Name Is Alice” in 1987 and “A . . . My Name Will Always Be Alice” in 1999.

“Dollops of freshness are certainly provided by Terri Allen, who has Miss America good looks and a sincerity to believe in,” Washington Post theater critic David Richards wrote of the 1987 show.

In 1997, Ms. Allen played torch singer Libby Holman in a Horizons biographical project that also featured Kerry Washington as playwright Lorraine Hansberry. Ms. Allen sang “I’m No Angel” as entertainer Mae West in another of Horizons’ “In Good Company” shows.

Ms. Allen’s cabarets “Portraits in Time” and “Deep Thoughts and Dark Chocolate” were part of the “Still Going Solo” presentations in 2004 and 2006 at Horizons. Earlier This summer, Ms. Allen performed an evening of Amanda McBroom songs with vocalist Beverly Cosham.

Therese Marie Allen was born Aug. 9, 1951, in Buffalo and grew up in Arizona. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1973 and a master’s degree in 1977, both in theater from Catholic University.

In 2010, Ms. Allen became executive director of the D.C. Cabaret Network, where she was a founding member in 1997.

Her marriage to David Haussman ended in divorce. Survivors include a sister and two brothers.

First Post byline, 1992; covering theater for the Post since 1999. His book "American Playwriting and the Anti-Political Prejudice" came out in 2014.

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