When Curtain Call needs some technical magic for a performance, the troupe turns to John Zimmerman. The resident "MacGyver" earned Volunteer for the Year for helping make sure the shows go on at the Stamford community theater.

"It was actually somewhat of a surprise to me. I was really happy about it, but that wasn't why I was doing it. It was nice to follow my daughter," Zimmerman said while taking a break from working on sets for upcoming performances of "Noises Off." The theater group named his daughter, Sara, as its first Youth Volunteer of the Year in 2009.

It was his daughters that brought Zimmerman to the theater in the first place. He ferried both to the theater for their rehearsals and performances. Then two years ago, Zimmerman decided that since he was at the theater anyway, he might as well get involved.

Since then, his talents have put him behind the scenes for a number of performances as an assistant stage manager. His work on "Catch 22," his first foray into props, earned him the "MacGyver Award" from the cast for his technical know-how and ability to improvise.

"I know I can do it," Zimmerman said of his preference for being backstage. He has appeared in front of the crowds a few times in smaller roles, but Zimmerman feels his talents are better served on the technical side. "I don't mind being on stage, but I don't have any of the training to properly portray a character," he said.

When not helping at the theater, Zimmerman's fancy turns to the sea. Sailing is a passion, and he loves to serve as navigator during short voyages and races. It may come as no surprise that one of his favorite performances was an outdoor production by Curtain Call of Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

The director of "The Tempest" will helm a live April production of "Titanic, the Musical" of which Zimmerman also is a fan. "He said I must have an OCD complex for things that start with T that sink boats," he joked.