As a medical inquiry continues into the death of well-known
and loved theater director Noel Ruiz, who died last week while at a wedding
celebration, friends and community theater lovers are mourning the loss of the
founder of Long Island’s Creative Ministries in Oakdale.
According to a Playbill.com article, Ruiz was 58 when he passed away on September 15. Ruiz came to the United States at the age of 6 from Cuba and grew up in Islip Terrace and attending the St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip.
He moved into the ministry field, initially serving as a youth minister at St. John Neopmucene Roman Catholic Church in Bohemia.
He was most well known for establishing and expanding of the south shore’s leading community theaters, Creative Ministries which eventually became the CM Performing Arts Center.
"Noel had an uncommon talent for stagecraft and storytelling," said frequent performer and colleague Jordan Hue, in the Playbill article.
"One only had to see a single one of his productions to know that this was the case. He also had a rare and precious gift for seeing the beauty and potential in others, evidenced in those he surrounded himself with. I am so grateful and feel so privileged to exist in the community that he helped to create. He made it a beautiful place to live."
According to Playbill, a memorial at CM Performing Arts Center is being planned in the near future.