Barbara Gensler's Life Celebrated: Beloved Shorewood Drama Teacher Passes Away

Feb 6, 2017

Shorewood High School drama director Barb Gensler, stepping down after 45 years.
Credit John O'Hara

Barbara Gensler, a legend in the local scholastic theater scene, has died.

According to her obituary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Barbara Gensler passed away on January 30, 2017 at the age of 81.

Gensler was featured in WUWM's Life's Voices series in 2012 for her work in the community:

As well as on Lake Effect:

 Original post from May 15, 2012:

When the final curtain falls on the Shorewood High School Drama Department's production of "Aida" this weekend, it will mark the end of an era for the theater community there. Barbara Gensler, who has led the drama department for 45 years, has announced this production will be her last "big show" at the school.

The show is expected to draw not just local school and community members, but some of the thousands of alumni whose lives Gensler has influenced over the years.

Barb Gensler has had some health challenges in recent years, but they haven't diminished her commanding presence in the theater. Lake Effect's Mitch Teich spoke with Gensler, and some of the theater universe around her to find out why the theater program at Shorewood is anything but "just high school theater."