LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A well-known figure in the metro Louisville arts community has passed away.

Bekki Jo Schneider, a co-owner of the Derby Dinner Playhouse, died Friday at Norton Hospital in St. Matthews at the age of 71.

That's according to a post made Saturday morning on the official Derby Dinner Playhouse Facebook page.

She was born to her parents, the late Rogerlene and Joseph Schneider of Louisville.

Schneider had been a co-owner and producer at the Derby Dinner Playhouse beginning in 1985.

She enjoyed an extensive career in the theater industry.

She worked as a producer and artistic director for the Lexington Children's Theatre, Metroversity Summer Theatre and Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. Schneider directed more than 600  theatrical productions in the U.S. and England.

She educated students about theater from elementary school through the university level at institutions including The Lexington School, Louisville Children's Theatre, Jefferson County Schools, UK, IUS, Spalding University and the Kentucky Department of Education.

Schneider also served as a past board member of Leadership Southern Indiana, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and was a past president of the National Dinner Theatre Association.

She was the recipient of several awards including the 2017 Dan Mangeot Lifetime Achievement Memorial Award, the 2017 Leadership Southern Indiana Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2016 Arts-Louisville/Broadway World Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2016 Indiana Leadership Association Distinguished Leader Award.

She is survived by her partner, David Myers; sons, Dudley Saunders Jr. and Jeremy Saunders; daughter, Karen Marion; stepdaughters, Annie Myers and Sally Scott; nephew, Jason Grant; grandchildren, Haley Marion, Livingston Marion, Madeline Grant, Rianissa Jo Saunders, Oliver Scott, Simon Scott and Lucy Scott.

In place of visitation, a celebration of Schneider's life will be held at a later date.

Memorial gifts can be sent to Kentucky Shakespeare at 323 West Broadway #401, Louisville Ky. 40202. Donations can also be given to the organization online.

According to its website, the Derby Dinner Playhouse is one of the country's oldest and largest continually operating professional dinner theatres. It has served audiences in the metro Louisville area for more than 40 years.

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