Incoming Oregon Shakespeare Festival Exec. Director excited to come to southern Oregon

The incoming Oregon Shakespeare Festival Executive Director, David Schmitz, sat down exclusively with NBC5 News to discuss his new position and upcoming move.

The 2021 season will mark the first year for the festival’s new executive director.  Schmitz will be the festival’s fourth executive director since 1953.

He has been entertaining on stage since he was a child.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything other than theatre, theatre is my passion,” said Schmitz.

He went to college for acting and has worked as an actor, director and sound designer. However, he has made his biggest mark off-stage.
“In many ways I think the artist side of me and the manager side of me are very connected,” said Schmitz.

He says he has a strong financial, fundraising and marketing background, which he thinks will benefit OSF.

“I think what I realized is, what I’m good at as a director is what I am good at as an executive director…expressing a vision and  then having a group of people achieve that vision.”

OSF’s Artistic Director, Nataki Garret, reached out to Schmitz when the position came available.

“There are only four or five theatres in the world that I was interested in working for and Oregon Shakespeare Festival was one of those theatres,” explained Schmitz.

He says OSF’s inclusivity and location was an important factor in his decison.

“There are not that many world-renowned organizations like OSF that sit in incredible communities like Ashland and the Rogue Valley community,” said Schmidtz.

While he and his family are excited for their move to southern Oregon this September, he says there’s a lot of work ahead for OSF as it plans for the 2021 season.

Schmitz tells us that in high school, he was in a Shakespeare-focused theatre program. He says he is excited to reconnect with that material.

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