Shakespeare in Love
Schulfer, the executive director of the Goodman Theatre, and Fisher, a veteran actress, show off some of their stylistic choices.
Newlyweds Roche Schulfer and Mary Beth Fisher didn’t have too many problems merging their styles when they moved in together ten years ago. That’s because, as they say today, they didn’t really have any. Schulfer, the executive director of the Goodman Theatre, had never bothered much with interior décor, and Fisher, a veteran actress (she just finished a turn in the Goodman’s production of Frank’s Home in New York), had been living out of a trunk for years. Since marrying in 2006, they’ve been feathering their beautiful condo overlooking Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park Zoo. Their favorite objects? Those that remind them of friends, family, and falling in love.
What had to go when they moved in together:
The white-cube furniture that Schulfer had held on to for years. “I had always lived in a minimalist style with furniture that was hideously old,” he says. “The fact that there is anything nice in this apartment is due to Mary Beth, who said, ‘You are an adult and you must have furniture.’”
“I love to cook-pie making is my new favorite thing,” says Fisher, who recently decided to start a collection of pie-making accessories, including pie birds, ceramic doohickeys that draw off steam from the pie in the oven. “Cindy Bandle, who was press director of the Goodman for a long time and passed away recently, gave me this one a few years ago. Since then I have become very conscious of the fact that there are decades’ worth of pie birds out there, all unique.”
His longtime collection:
“I’m one of those people whose mother did not throw out all their baseball cards when I was growing up,” says Schulfer, a South Side native and lifelong White Sox fan. He currently houses the thousands of cards, signed baseballs, and other memorabilia in the “den,” which is more of a glorified hallway. “Someday we’ll have a room for it,” he says.
On their art collection:
“We have a good time collecting original artwork that makes us happy,” says Schulfer. On visits to Maine they became taken with the work of a local folk artist, Brian Foster. “He had a little store-a shack-on the highway,” says Fisher. “These two pieces were actually his sign on the road. We asked him if he would sell it to us, so he took a crowbar out, broke it apart, and mailed it to us.”
Her dramatic look:
“I’ve always said she’s got great working actor style,” says Schulfer. “It’s comfortable and simple, and yet there are always touches, like a scarf or shoes, something that makes it great looking.” Says Fisher: “My uniform is jeans and T-shirts, but I have these purple Nikes-everyone loves them.”
Treasured object: A hand-painted bowl that Fisher made for Schulfer at the design-it-yourself shop Glazed Expressions (717 W. Armitage Ave.; 312-867-1792), showing scenes from their first summer together-including their first golf outing. Like Schulfer, Fisher has become an avid golfer. “Our matches are ferocious,” he says.
Favorite holiday gifts:
For Schulfer, it was a White Sox World Series jacket that Fisher found for him at Christmas in 2005. “It was back-ordered,” she says. “I wound up buying it on an obscure sports Web site-I just grabbed it.” Fisher loves what she calls her “Aunt Jemima cookie jar” shaped like a stack of pancakes; Schulfer bought it for her in Michigan at Allen Antique Mall (on U.S. 12 in Allen; 517-869-2788).
A St. Roche medallion they picked up at a mission in Santa Fe. “St. Roche was a French guy who renounced his worldly goods-he went to Italy and worked among plague victims,” explains Schulfer, who says it helps to keep him grounded. “Without sounding too highfalutin about it, working in a theatre that is part of the community, and improving quality of life in whatever way we can, has always been very important to me.”
Photography: Lisa Predko Hair and Makeup by Duc Ho at Salon Buzz
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