Courtney Crawford is a young artist on a mission, most recently receiving accolades for her performance as Molly in Camelot Theatre's production of "Ghost." I caught up with Crawford to talk about her life, work and vision for the future.

JG: What led you to become a performer?

CC: Growing up, all I wanted to do was perform. As a child, I would put on shows for my parents in my living room, complete with costumes and musical accompaniment. I did my first musical in a children’s theater when I was 10, and the rest is history. My friends encouraged me to do shows in high school, and then later encouraged me to audition for community theaters after I’d graduated. Over time, I started realizing that I wasn’t just performing because it was fun or it was a productive way to spend my evenings. I realized that I do it because I love it. I love bringing something special onto the stage that people can relate to, or that people can just enjoy. 

JG: You just completed a successful experience playing the female lead in Camelot's "Ghost." Tell us about that experience.

CC: "Ghost the Musical" was an experience I’ll never forget. Before this show, I was never able to stretch my acting muscles to really see what I was capable of. With the encouragement Olivia Harrison gave me to keep Molly honest and real, I was introduced to a style of acting I hadn’t yet done. I’d only done ensemble work up to this point, which has its own challenges and chances for growth, but "Ghost" was an entirely different kind of show. The cast and crew were a joy to work with as well, which only added to how incredible the experience was. All in all, I’m thankful for "Ghost the Musical" helping me grow into a better performer than I ever thought I could be.

JG: Do you have any upcoming roles that are exciting for you?

CC: I am currently in rehearsal for "Spamalot" at Camelot Theatre Company, which will be a drastic change of scenery. Not only do I get the opportunity to work with some of the people I look up to in the local theater community, but I will also get the chance to dance in the ensemble again. "Spamalot" will be a drastic change of focus from my previous show. The show itself is a riot, the script is true Monty Python humor that every generation can relate to and laugh along with. The show opens June 21 and runs until July 23, and I can't wait to share this outrageous production with the community. 

JG: What have been some of the highlights of working in the theater?

CC: The connections that I’ve made in this theater community are unmatched. Aside from the experience of doing productions itself, the people I have met along the way have made all the difference. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with many theaters in the Rogue Valley that have inspired me to grow both as a performer and as a person. My co-actors have become my friends who support me in whatever creative venture I go on next. If I hadn’t started performing, I wouldn’t know half of the people in my life right now. I am so grateful to have a family in the theater community, they make all the difference.

— Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Daily Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at gillespie.jeffrey@gmail.com.