This just in from the Guthrie Theater:
Donald Schoenbaum, Managing Director of the Guthrie Theater from 1969 to 1986, has died at the age of 86 in Sarasota, Florida. A native New Yorker, Schoenbaum's tenure saw the Guthrie grow from a five-play seasonal operation to a year-round theater.
"Don Schoenbaum was one of the true heroes of the Guthrie," says Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling, "managing it through good times and bad--but always conscious of the artistic and institutional priorities. He has a special place in our history and will be long remembered here."
Schoenbaum began his professional career as an actor in Hollywood, then founded the professional touring company The Repertory Players in Omaha. He came to the Guthrie in 1966 after a period as Managing Director of Trinity Repertory Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1985, he received the nationally recognized Arts Management Award as Arts Executive of the Year. He remained active in theater and film production after his employment at the Guthrie.
"Don was deeply respected by everyone who worked at the theater in all departments, and he trained the next generation of theater administrators," says Guthrie Director of Artistic Relations Sheila Livingston. "He loved theater and the artists who created it. I will miss him greatly as a lifelong friend."
Sad news indeed. Don was so important to the theatre community in the Twin Cities. Many of us wouldn't be doing what we're doing now if it weren't for Don.
i've known don 15 years, "post-guthrie", a truly great friend, wonderful man - he will be missed!