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The Bard’s Town owner Doug Schutte has died

The Bard's Town restaurant and performance space sign features a graphic image of Williams Shakespeare next to a fleur de lis. The sign reads "The Bard's Town. Restaurant, theatre, lounge."
The Bard's Town Facebook page
Sign outside of The Bard's Town Highlands location.

Owner of The Bard’s Town local restaurant theater Doug Schutte has died.

When Schutte opened the venue, alongside Jon DeSalvo and Scot Atkinson in July 2010, it was the realization of an idea Schutte had while directing a play.

The Bard’s Town combined Schutte’s love of food, drinks and theater.

The eatery became a hub for the local arts community to gather and a space for performers to hone their craft. Its location in the Highlands closed at the end of last year and work on a new location in the Germantown neighborhood was underway. According to the Bard’s Town website, the new space is still slated to open in March of this year.

Schutte’s place in the Louisville theater scene began before The Bard’s Town opened its doors.

He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Louisville and later received his master's degree from the University of Louisville’s English department.

Schutte served as the Kentucky Theater Art Association’s executive director from 2007 to 2010. And was a Treadwell Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, in the U.K., in 2006.

Schutte's work as a playwright saw the production of several original works including “Saving Ophelia”, “The Kings of Christmas” and “Mostron: The Absolute Moron's Guide to Being an Absolute Moron”.

Across social media, people expressed their sadness and condolences about Schutte’s passing, expressing the impact he had on them and the arts community at large.

Erin Keane, a former LPM News reporter, met Schutte in college.

“He had a deep reverence for the imagination and artistic rigor and an equally deep irreverence for pomposity and empty authority. He loved stupid jokes and classical literature equally, and modeled for me how to layer the high- and the lowbrow seamlessly,” she said in an email.

Keane covered The Bard’s Town often during her time at LPM.

“Doug valued the community The Bard's Town fostered and took his role seriously as shepherd of that artistic home base, no matter the physical, emotional, or financial toll it took,” Keane said. “In Doug's hands, The Bard was part Globe Theater and part Muppet Show — never a dull moment, often feeling like it was just this side of spinning out of control, but always infused with warmth, intellect, and above all, the biggest of hearts.”

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.

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