Camelot Theatre - Talent, OR
Camelot Theatre is a year-round theatre just 5 miles north of Ashland, OR, dedicated to creating the finest affordable theatrical experience in Southern Oregon. Camelot produces a total of twelve productions each year, including plays, musicals and musical events, in a supportive environment for professional and amateur theatre artists and technicians. Artistic Director Livia Genise and Artistic Associate Rebecca K. Campbell focus on award-winning shows that entertain, uplift and inspire.
An interview with Livia Genise
Date of Birth: Oct 15, 1949
What brought you to southern Oregon and when did you begin working at Camelot: I was coming here to semi-retire and teach privately. I received a call on my cell phone the day I was driving up (Friday of Labor Day weekend, 2002) asking me to come in and interview for the job of Artistic Managing Director and to have a 7-show season ready to present to the Board of Directors. I was hired on the spot. Little did I know what was in store for me!
List your past theater experience: I got my Equity card in 1969 and have worked on Broadway and all over the country ever since. I've guest-starred on everything from Three's Company to Hill St. Blues, including a four-month stint on Days of our Lives. I have received numerous acting awards in the Bay Area and served as Conservatory Director for the Willows Theatre and Marin Theatre Company. I have a B.F.A. in Voice and have taught and directed for over 16 years.
Why did you choose theater as a career: Are there other careers? First, I chose theater because I needed validation of who I was. Then, when I became a parent, I started to look at the global repercussions of my actions. Then I was given the George Bernard Shaw quote which begins: "This is the True joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one." After that, all I ever wanted to do was to make a difference in the life of the audience, the other actors and in my own life. I became dedicated to something bigger than myself. My life has never been the same since.
What is your favorite play: My favorite and most challenging role to date has been the role of Rebecca in Rags. The show was about what happened to the immigrants of Ellis Island when they came here. It was nicknamed: "Fiddler on the Stoop." The role of Rebecca required not only tremendous vocal dexterity and range, but an emotional commitment beyond anything I had experienced so far. I was in 22 of the 24 musical numbers. And I was pregnant the first time I performed the role. I won the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for that performance and was very proud of the show, the cast and my part in that production.
Which performance has been your personal favorite at Camelot: So far, Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Master Class has been my most challenging and rewarding role.