Remembering Michael Schacherbauer

Posted: Saturday, May 5, 2018, 10:47am

Curtain Players is saddened to learn that our former Artistic Director Michael Schacherbauer has died following a battle with cancer. We extend our condolences to his partner Don, his family, and friends. We at Curtain Players share in mourning his loss and warmly remember a man who dedicated so much of his creative talent to our playhouse.

Schacherbauer for more than 25 years was as an active Curtain Player as an actor, director, and volunteer, and later from 1999 to 2007, served as the community theatre organization’s first artistic director. In that position he advanced the depth of and guided the theatre’s programming, and served as a mentor for actors, directors, and designers. Schacherbauer first directed at Harlem Road in 1982, a staging of Hot L Baltimore. He also led productions of Agnes of God, Baby with the Bathwater, Dearly Departed, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Sylvia (1999), Grace and Glorie, The Trip to Bountiful (2005), and Inventing Van Gogh. Schacherbauer, his casts, and designers earned many awards for their theatre work.

“Michael Schacherbauer was the kind of theatre artist that made you better just by working with him,” said Board Trustee Jeremy Sony. “Being directed by him was like a masterclass in theatre; and while he pushed us to be better and never let us settle, he always made it fun.”

Schacherbauer was also a strong advocate for community theatre, and just last fall awarded OCTA Lifetime Membership honors. He was inducted into the Ohio Community Theatre Association Hall of Fame in 2010. He served as OCTA president in 1987, 1988, 1991, and 1997. Schacherbauer was in great demand as a responder, attending OCTA regional festivals and state conferences, and events in other states, to review and offer constructive criticisms to excerpts. He also led workshops, helping others develop talents and skills in many aspects of the art.

Many in central Ohio theatre also knew Schacherbauer as he participated in productions with other stage companies, but Curtain Players was his theatre home.

“Curtain Players is well regarded today because of Michael Schacherbauer,” said President James F. Petsche. “The organization was able to grow and to thrive because of his leadership and unselfish sharing of his many talents and skills, and his genuine love of theatre.”

Schacherbauer was a career educator (30 years) with Westerville City Schools. He graduated from Otterbein College and The Ohio State University. After he retired to Michigan, he worked for Northwest Airlines and continued his theatre work.

We will share more information regarding funeral arrangements as they become available.