The Lorian sat down for an exclusive interview with Loras Players Theatre Director Doug Donald as he prepares for his last production before retiring.
The Lorian: How many years have you been working at Loras?
Doug: I have been teaching at Loras for 34 years. This is my 18th year as director of theatre.
The Lorian: What has been your favorite thing about teaching at Loras?
Doug: Simply put, working with my students. In the theatre my students are fellow collaborative artists; we create the production together. A lot of time is spent in rehearsals where ideas, communication, listening, and yes, even failures are encouraged. For the creative process to work, everyone must be an active participant. What each individual, myself, my students, and the Dubuque community, bring to that process must be respected, encouraged, and valued. It is that creative process with my students that I treasure.
The Lorian: How did your journey with Loras begin?
Doug: I was hired to teach public speaking and theatre on a part time basis.
The Lorian: What are you planning on doing after you retire?
Doug: I hope to return to working professionally in the theatre as an actor and a director. I also plan on continuing to develop some of my original scripts as some of my fellow artists have expressed an interest in producing them.
The Lorian: What were some of your favorite shows that Loras players has done?
Doug: I am afraid there are a lot of those because I don’t look at just the finished product, but I also look at the journey I took with the students. So each show has a special place for different reasons. Plus, how can I pick one group of students over another?
By the end of this year, Donald and the Loras Players will have put on a total of 87 productions. In his time at Loras, he produced five faculty/staff shows and over 38 original scripts, including their current production “Darkness Visible” by Gary Arms, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m. March 15 -17 and March 18 at 2 p.m.