Sioux Falls, SD – Sioux Falls mourns the loss of Brian Thomas Schipper, a vibrant soul deeply immersed in the world of theater and art. Brian, aged 41, passed away on Monday, September 18, 2023, due to injuries sustained in a tragic automobile accident. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 10:00 AM at George Boom Funeral Home & On-Site Crematory, Sioux Falls. Visitation will take place on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 PM, also at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to The Mighty Corson Art Players in Brian’s honor.
Mighty Corson Art Players (MCAP) shared Brian Schipper’s death news and wrote,
“It is with immeasurable grief and sadness that we announce the loss of our board president and managing artistic director, Brian Schipper. In his nearly 10 seasons at MCAP, Brian dedicated countless hours to providing quality theatre in a safe, welcoming environment. He enhanced our programming by adding a third show to the season and guiding us deftly through the COVID-19 pandemic. MCAP has been a theatre for 41 years, but Brian made it a home. His boisterous laugh, creativity, and kindness will forever be remembered. Please keep Brian’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Born on June 5, 1982, in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Brian spent his formative years in Texas, Maryland, and the Twin Cities. He graduated from Cooper High School in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, in 2000, where he cultivated a love for theater and orchestra. Brian continued to pursue his passion for the theater arts by earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Concordia University St. Paul. During his time at Concordia, Brian showcased his talent by directing “Gospel Time and Gospel Rhyme,” a main stage production, garnering attention and appreciation.
Brian’s journey in the world of theater was intertwined with love as he met his wife, Rebecca, during his time at Concordia. The couple exchanged vows in Brandon, SD on June 17, 2005, and Brian continued to actively contribute to community theater in Saint Paul. In 2007, Brian relocated to Sioux Falls, where he founded Big Fish Theater, producing and directing multiple successful productions. His theatrical endeavors later found a home at The Mighty Corson Art Players (MCAP), where he made significant contributions, eventually becoming MCAP’s first Managing Artistic Director. Brian’s dedication to MCAP’s mission of creating and sharing amazing stories was unwavering, evidenced by his 23 productions with the company, culminating with “They Promised Her the Moon.”
Brian was passionate about nurturing new talent and often provided opportunities for budding artists. He cherished judging local one acts and guest directing at various events. Brian was a founding member of Storytellers Anonymous, a pioneering theater collective in Sioux Falls.
In addition to his love for the stage, Brian was a devoted father to his son, Jonas Alexander, born in 2020. He adored his son and considered him the best thing he had ever done. Outside the theater world, Brian found joy attending concerts, indulging in his hobbies like watching Critical Role, Chelsea FC matches, or immersing himself in Dungeons and Dragons, a game he loved for its storytelling.
Brian’s vibrant spirit will forever resonate with his wife, Rebecca Schipper; son, Jonas Schipper; mother, Debby Schipper; father, John (Regina) Schipper; father and mother-in-law, Mark and June Buehner; special nieces, Shelby and Julia Fray; and numerous relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Janice and Lawrence Holmberg, and Laverne and Harold Schipper.
In the words of Shakespeare, “Good night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” Brian Thomas Schipper will be deeply missed, but his passion for art and the indelible mark he left on the theatrical community will continue to inspire and uplift.