Stephanie Bissonnette, a well-known theatrical choreographer, died on December 17 at the age of 32. She was well-recognized for her role in the hit musical Mean Girls. The musical’s official social media website paid homage to her by saying:
“She brought joy and companionship to our theater, inspired us with her battling spirit and courage, and graced our stage with the strongest talent Broadway has ever seen.”
Bissonnette had previously been diagnosed with medulloblastoma, one of the most frequent kinds of brain tumor. However, since her medical history is now accessible, it is uncertain whether it had a part in her death.
Equity mourns the loss of member Stephanie Bissonnette. A talented dancer and choreographer, Stephanie was a fighter for workers’ rights who stood alongside fellow Equity members during the 2019 Lab Rat campaign. Her energy and spirit will be missed. pic.twitter.com/NiRUNCuEYn
— Actors’ Equity (@ActorsEquity) December 19, 2022
Stephanie Bissonnette has also been seen in documentaries and music videos.
Stephanie Bissonnette graduated from Point Pak University’s Conservatory of the Performing Arts on October 26, 1990. She then became a choreographer. She worked as a choreographer for The Muny, Riverside Theatre, Seven Angels Theatre, and Shakespeare Theatre Company. She landed the character of Dawn Schweitzer in the musical Mean Girls when it was still in the works. Ensemble, a documentary on Bissonnette, will be released in 2020. She also appeared in Keith Urban’s Never Comein’ Down song video.
She was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early 2019 and had surgery in February of that year. She discovered she had cancer a few days later and needed six weeks of treatment at a New York facility. The therapy was set for five days each week, and she had to take a nine-month vacation from performing. According to SurvivorNet, she believed she would never be able to dance again and that the period between her surgery and radiotherapy was the most difficult for her. She stated:
“It almost felt worse because I just wanted to start so I could be done. So I simply stayed in my room, unhappy, for a month. It wasn’t a happy moment. I was clearly sobbing a lot. I was nervous. My career seemed to be coming to an end. I began to wonder, “What would I do if I couldn’t do this for a job anymore?”
Following her recuperation, she and the other Mean Girls cast members celebrated a year since her operation in 2020. Stephanie Bissonnette’s survivors include family members whose names have not been revealed.