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Director Douglas Schaeffer on Favorite Musicals and Directing a Modern Jesus Christ Superstar

Written by Corey Notman

Corey Notman, Board Member for Imagine Productions, sat down with upcoming director of Jesus Christ Superstar, Douglas Schaeffer, for a Q&A about Schaeffer and his upcoming directing debut with Imagine. Schaeffer will also be directing Imagine’s summer production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Corey: How many years have you worked in theater, and what companies/shows have you been involved with in Central Ohio?

Thirty-five years. I attended Otterbein University as a theater major. As an actor or a director, some of the groups I’ve worked with are Worthington Community Theater, Little Theatre Off Broadway, Theater Lancaster, Circle Players (in Nashville), Curtain Players, Marysville Community Theater, Dublin Abbey Players and Pleasure Guild.

Corey: What is your dream show to direct and/or be in?

Tommy, Reefer Madness, Noises Off, Deathtrap, Hairspray, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast – too many to list here!

Corey: What are you most looking forward to with this upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar?

This show used to be on my bucket list, so this is a real dream for me. We’ve updated it to be set in modern day, so I’m really looking forward to the audience’s reaction. We ask the question, “If He returned today, would the result be the same?” Our cast is one of the best I’ve ever worked with, so I’m especially looking forward to sharing them with the public.

Corey: What do you do when not involved with theater?

I traveled around the U.S. in the last few years. I spend a portion of my year for the past 13 years in Bucharest, Romania. During the day, I work from home as a Workforce Management Analyst for Conduent, a subsidiary of Xerox.

Corey: What/where was your first theatrical experience?

Officially back at Centennial High School here in Columbus; the school’s first musical was You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. I played Snoopy!

Corey: Any favorite shows that you just love to watch?

I’m a sucker for musicals. Some of my favorites are Pippin, Wicked, Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, and of course Jesus Christ Superstar! The old standards too: My Fair Lady, Camelot, Carousel, Hello Dolly, and Mame, to name a few.

Corey: What would you say is the best part of directing a show?

I’d say the creativity. For me, as much as I enjoy the performances, it’s the process that really excites me. I love being a part of the creation, the experimentation, what works, what doesn’t work. Navigating the progression of seeing my concept go from vision to reality.

Imagine Productions invites you to our upcoming production of Jesus Christ Superstar, March 2-3 at 8 p.m. and March 5 at 3 p.m. All productions are held at the Northland Performing Arts Center. Visit our website for tickets:


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