Guthrie Theater’s Donald Schoenbaum died

Stephanie Laumer

 Donald Shoenbaum, the former managing director of the Guthrie Theater, died in his Florida home at the age of 86, according to the Star Tribune.

Schoenbaum was well-regarded as an important figure in the history of the Guthrie Theater.  He started his career as a Hollywood actor and then founded The Repertory Players in Omaha.  Shoenbaum came to the Guthrie in 1966 and climbed his way up to the managing director position.  He held the managing director position for 17 years.

"He was a major force in the American theater, no question about it," said Dennis Babcock, the executive producer of Triple Espresso, in an interview with the Star Tribune. "Don was my mentor when I started in 1972, and then after he retired he went to work for me as a paid adviser."

Guthrie Director Joe Dowling said in a statement, "Don Schoenbaum was one of the true heroes of the Guthrie, managing it through good times and bad — but always conscious of the artistic and institutional priorities."