LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For almost 30 years, Charlie Douglas could be found in the theater at Presentation Academy, leading hundreds of students in the school's theater program.
"Most people would even describe her as childlike because she had this light about her that was super, super positive," Heather Douglas, Charlie's daughter, said.
Last year, Charlie had selected "Godspell" as this season's spring musical, telling her students that she enjoyed both the show's music as well as its message of teamwork.
"If you work with your neighbors as a community, the community's more productive," Heather said. "The community's happier."
But despite its upbeat songs and positive message, this production is bittersweet. Charlie died unexpectedly late last November. But as they say in the theater, the show must go on, and Charlie's daughter stepped up to make sure it did.
The students dedicated Saturday's matinee to their long-time director and her legacy.
"I cried," Tom Luce, the show's technical director and Charlie's partner, said. "I had tears of joy and sadness, missing her but also happy that she was being honored that way."
"I think she couldn't be more proud of the work we've done," Presentation Academy senior Kennedy Florence said. "We've got stuff pulled out of us I didn't even know could be and she was always the best at pulling stuff out of this theater."
"She inspired so many people that are working professional now to this day," Heather said.
One of those students inspired by Charlie is Florence, who will be majoring in theater when she heads off to college in the fall. Florence, who plays the role of Jesus in the production, said she had almost not auditioned as a freshman, but was swayed by seeing the way Charlie interacted with the other students.
"Doing this and realizing how much of a connection I could make with everyone and my director and how much I just love doing it, I think she made me realize that," she said.
After the performance, Presentation Academy dedicated its theater after Charlie. Her "Educator of the Year" award, which was given to her posthumously by Broadway World and Arts Louisville last year, was also presented to the school by her family, who said she would have wanted the award to be placed in the theater.