BY ERIN FAGUNDES
Recently, the Ventura County theater community lost one of its dearest friends with the unexpected death of Linda Schaver. In an attempt to process this unintelligible loss, shocked friends and community members started sharing thoughtful tributes on Facebook, telling stories about her talent, beauty, and kindness. Everyone had wonderful, unique sentiments, but there was one common word in almost every post: light. Whether brightening a room with her smile or illuminating the stage with her beauty and talent, Linda truly did shine and shared her light with the world.
One would think someone as beautiful and vivacious as Linda would have been performing her whole life, but that was another thing that made her so special. I truly don’t think she recognized how beautiful and talented she really was. She was always humble, gracious, and content just being a part of it all. Linda entered the theater as a supportive mom who worked backstage on her children’s shows, happily painting sets, working as a stage-hand, or doing whatever job needed doing. She was just a mom who loved spending as much time with her family as possible and wanted to be around them. In fact, she was every kid’s mom at the theater. She had the patience of a saint and a most lovely demeanor that drew children to her. While others would sit in the green room and chat, she would be content coloring with the kids and hearing about how their day went. People would often ask her to perform but she always replied, “Oh, I could NEVER be onstage!” Those fortunate enough to have seen Linda perform would find this hard to believe. Whether in an ensemble role or as a leading lady, Linda owned the stage and made you watch her. Those who knew her well understood that Linda was like a beautiful butterfly who, at her own pace, underwent an amazing metamorphosis from theater mom/backstage techie to brilliant STAR, and the Ventura County theater world is better for it. Her light shone brightly but was dimmed much too soon. I sincerely believe Linda Schaver’s light will never truly go out. Some lights are just impossible to extinguish.
Erin Fagundes is a theater member and director of CONEJO PLAYERS