Dann Hauser is the executive director of Camelot Theatre who, along with Roy Von Rains, has been spearheading the company's evolution in its post-Livia Genise era. With a highly successful 35th season wrapping up, I connected with Hauser to talk about the upcoming season and his vision for the theater.
JG: How did you become involved with Camelot?
DH: In 2012 I was asked to join the Board of Directors of Camelot Theatre. My background in business management, fundraising and marketing was a good addition to the advisory talents on the Board. Two years later we realized how complex the organization had grown and needed to restructure the executive leadership team. I joined our then-Artistic Director Livia Genise as the Executive Director for the Theatre, managing the business operations, fundraising and marketing responsibilities. The collaborative team of the Executive Director, Artistic Director (now, Roy Von Rains, Jr.) and the board is a very effective team for Camelot.
JG: What have you most enjoyed about the last season?
DH: 2017 has been a tremendous year for the theater. Our attendance is up almost 22 percent from 2015 and 2016. We are very fortunate that every production this year has had sold-out performances. That energy has brought excitement and pride to the actors, staff, production crew and senior management of the theater. We’ve also welcomed many new artists to the Camelot family, thanks to the diverse and very talented region that we live in.
JG: What can you tell us about Camelot's 36th season that excites you?
DH: I’m confident 2018 will be another great year for Camelot. Fiscally we are stable, and the selection of productions that our Artistic Director, Roy Von Rains, Jr., presented for the season should continued our trend in sell-outs and clearly delight and entertain our patrons. Bringing classics like "Annie Get Your Gun," "Oliver!," "Barefoot in the Park" to the stage with lively musicals such as "The Little Mermaid," "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas' and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," along with challenging dramas like 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" will be quite a challenge for the theater and we’re thrilled to bring these shows to Southern Oregon. In addition, our Spotlight Series of musical tributes is expanding to five productions, each running three weeks. These shows have developed into very entertaining and educational favorites for our audiences. 2018 will be a great amount of work and fun.
JG: How has Camelot changed under new leadership?
DH: Change is usually difficult but necessary as an organization grows and becomes more complex. In 36 years, the theater has grown from a 48-seat hall above Main Street in Ashland, offering four shows a year, to the 165-seat, state of the art, James M. Collier Theatre Building in Talent, producing 13 professional quality shows a year. The sustainability, creativity and dynamic legacy of Camelot Theatre is in good hands under the executive team of the artistic director, executive director and Board of Directors. Theater is a collaborative environment. We have artists, production technicians, costumers, musicians and management all working to bring art to the stage. It’s a privilege for me to work with this team of professionals.
— Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Daily Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.