“The performing arts have the ability to teach the viewer empathy by exploring the many facets of the human condition.”
What do Kiss Me Kate, Sweet Charity, Grey Gardens and La Cage aux Folles have in common? They are a sample of the musicals co-produced by Edwin Schloss, a Tony Award-winner and financial investor from New York, and a thoughtful member of our Friends Society.
Ever since he was a youngster, Ed loved the theater. He experienced his first production, Li’l Abner, at the age of six, and his family was fortunate to attend Broadway shows twice a month in New York City. Some of his favorites from the Golden Age of Broadway include: The King and I, My Fair Lady and West Side Story.
Ed’s passion for the performing arts extended into school. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he majored in playwriting. After college, he ventured back to New York, where he had the privilege of working alongside his father, Walter Schloss, for 27 years at the investment firm of Walter & Edwin Schloss Associates. By day he was on Wall Street, but by night he was on Broadway passing performance notes as a “tweaker” to the lead producer on the various shows he was involved with. Eventually, Ed became a voting member of the Tony Awards and attended 40+ productions each season over a three-year term before having back surgery. That’s quite a commitment and love of the arts! Ed believes the performing arts play a significant role in promoting education and believes in the Foundation’s mission to support arts education. “Not everyone is good at school, and the performing arts allow students to expand their horizons and learn through art.”
Ed and his wife, Maureen, love Sarasota, and he credits John Ringling for creating a legacy where the arts and culture are the centerpieces of the community. Ed loves attending live performances at the Van Wezel Hall and invests in arts education through the Foundation’s Friends Society. He appreciates the added value and benefits that come with the membership, such as last-minute tickets or visiting with staff in the Founder’s Lounge. Although he misses attending live performances due to the pandemic, he believes in experiencing the arts online, so more people can take part and learn.
At 70 years old, Ed is back at playwriting, working on a piece called AESOP, a cautionary tale about a giving person who can’t say no. This tale is a perfect story for someone whose credo is “just be kind”.
PHOTO: Edwin and his family, daughters Katie and Emily, and wife, Maureen, the night he won an Tony Award for La Cage aux Folles.