Daniel Lawrence Schay
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Schay, Daniel Lawrence
63, of Phoenix passed away on April 7, 2016. Dan was born in Middletown, NY and lived in Jacksonville, FL and Rocky Hill, NJ before attending Yale University. Theater was Dan's life passion, whether as a producer, director, actor, fundraiser or senior manager. Throughout his career he focused on building relationships and partnerships between the arts and communities, growing audiences and raising the profiles of the organizations for which he served. Multiple institutions benefited from growth and change under his leadership. Dan's warm and engaging personality drew people in and created close personal connections. He will be missed as a mentor and friend. Dan began his career at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT before moving to the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Hippodrome Theatre of Gainesville, FL, Lowell, MA's Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the Philadelphia Drama Guild. In 1995 he made Arizona home, serving as the first Executive Director of the Sedona Cultural Park and the Sedona International Film Festival. He joined Phoenix Theatre in 2004 and was instrumental in the capital campaign which financed the construction of a third theater on site. For the past four years, Theater Works at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts was his professional home. As Executive Director, he worked closely with City leadership to build a thriving arts community in Old Town and across the West Valley. Dan's impact is far beyond the individual institutions for which he worked as he collaborated with many arts advocacy organizations, including FEDAPT (Foundation for the Extension and Development of the American Professional Theatre) and LORT (League of Resident Theatres). He was extremely proud of his positions on the boards of directors of Arizona School for the Arts, Phoenix Boys Choir, Act One Foundation, and Alliance for Audience. He consulted nationally with many arts organizations and served as site visitor for the National Endowment for the Arts for many years. In 2015 he had the distinct honor of being named a Piper Fellow by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. Dan is survived by his adoring wife Barbara (Waldstein) Schay and loving son Adam Schay. He is also survived by siblings Michael Slade, Peter Schay, Marla Schay Barker, and many dear nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be announced in the near future. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Theater Works, 8355 W Peoria Ave, Peoria AZ, 85345 at theaterworks.org.




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Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 13, 2016.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
January 12, 2017
So sorry to hear of Dan's passing. I worked with him at Merrimack Repertory Theatre in Lowell, MA in the 80's. He encouraged me to be more than I thought I could be - and it paid off. For that I shall be forever grateful. Deep sympathy for Barbara and their son.
Helene Desjarlais Voto
April 24, 2016
Rick and I are saddened by this news! We have oh so many wonderful memories as friends and as colleagues of Dan. My heart goes out to Barbara and Adam and to Dan's family.
Amanda Aldridge
April 21, 2016
Dan Schay was a kind,supportive and wonderful colleague during a very tough time in my life. He hired me, encouraged me and let me know that life would go on with laughter when i didn't believe it possible. He was a beloved and respected figure in the theatre world of Boston, and went on to be a similar figure in other places. Kindness and talent were in equal measure in this man. He was one of a kind indeed.
nora hussey
April 16, 2016
Although we didn't stay in close contact through the years, Dan was the very first friend I made as a freshman at Yale.
Even then, his passion for theater burned strong.
With old friends, you feel there will always be time to reconnect and make up for the years. At moments like this, I wish we'd have made an opportunity long before now.
Harry Zeitlin
April 13, 2016
Please accept my condolences on your loss. May your memories comfort your heart; and God help your family during this time of sorrow. Isa.41:13
C L
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