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In his 30 years, Ron Davis became ‘captain of the ship’

When it comes to experience and dedication to theater in Oregon, there aren’t many people who come close to Ron Davis. Davis has served as president of both the Genoa Community Theater and The Oregon Community Theater and has taken part in 37 shows during his 30 years of experience, making him one of the local theater scene’s most respected members.

“As the president (of The Oregon Community Theater) he was like the captain of a ship,” said Reed Steele, who currently serves as president of The OCT. “When there were possibilities of the organization drifting or going on tangents, he kept us straight and true.”

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Ron Davis has lended his acting skills to the Oregon-Jerusalem 
Historical Society, portraying A.R. Fassett during a Civil War 
Tribute Walk at the North Oregon Cemetary. (Press file photo 
by Ken Grosjean)

Davis’ interest began in 1986 with Genoa Community Theater, when he was asked to come along for an audition.

“A friend told me they were doing a show and that I should get involved. So I went, and I got a great part,” said Davis.

Davis’ relationship with The Oregon Community Theater began in 1996, and like his start with Genoa, it began with an innocent request to come to an audition.

“A director at the time, Paul Slovak asked me to come audition for a show. I’d participated with Oregon Community Theater before, so that was a great opportunity,” said Davis. “I got into a show and have continued ever since.”

With Oregon Community Theater came the chance to reach a wider audience with large, crowd-pleasing shows.

“I liked Oregon because they were doing big shows, popular shows. I appreciated that they did musicals,” said Davis.

Not content with taking on the responsibilities of a single role, Davis eventually became president of The Oregon Community Theater, while still acting in shows.

“I was a member of the board for several years. When (the previous president) let it be known that he would be stepping down, I was interested and willing, and thought I could lend some expertise,” said Davis.

The responsibilities of being the president of a theater group are all encompassing, and include managing all components of a production. This includes the necessary elements that the audience doesn’t necessarily see on stage.

“Even though the audience just sees the finished product, there are always so many more people who are involved who aren’t on stage,” said Davis. “Set design, construction, advertising- the president really has to oversee people to take charge of these.”


Running smoothly
When a production involves so many pieces, success depends on the ability of a good president to keep everything running smoothly.

“The president has to get people to work together to make a quality season for our audiences,” said Davis.

Davis stepped down as president this past year, though he serves as a board member and still takes part in shows.

“After seven years, I decided it was time to move on and let some one else take charge, and new president Reed Steele has done just that,” said Davis

According to Steele, Davis’ influence didn’t end when he stepped down as president.

“He was my mentor and a great stabilizing force for me,” said Steele.

Though he’s taken a smaller role, Davis is still a very active member of The Oregon Community Theater. For him, his passion for acting is what keeps him involved.

“My love of theater comes from being on stage and creating characters,” said Davis. “I’ve been fortunate enough over all these years to be cast in magnificent roles.”

Because he both acts in shows and does behind the scenes work, Davis has to give himself restrictions so that he can have time for family and friends.

“I’ve limited myself for many years to being in maybe one show a year, so that I still have time for an outside life,” he said.

The one limit of one show per season can make it difficult for Davis to decide on which show he think would be the most enjoyable to audition for.

“We just adopted our season for next year. They’re all great shows, so I have to look at them and decide which one I’m most interested in,” he said.

Though he may want a specific role, Davis’ experience has found that the character he wants to play isn’t always the one that’s the best fit for him.

“I think I’ve always gotten the part that’s right for me, whether it’s the one I wanted or not,” said Davis. “I always get the role that I can best embrace.”

The ability to get on stage and perform also allows Davis to take part in something that is completely separate from his everyday life.

“When I first got started, my career I spent as a school psychologist. (Theater) was so different from what I do for my career. I call it a mental health break,” he said.

And, with The Oregon Community Theater, Davis has found a perfect home for his passion and a great opportunity to put on shows with other people who share that passion.

“I think Community Theater allows people opportunities to do fun and different things with people from different walks of life,” he said. “We don’t all have the same backgrounds or careers, but we all enjoy taking part in what comes out to be a fantastic production.”

Giving money to people along road

Do you feel compelled to give money to people holding signs along the road asking for money?
2022927215 [{"id":"10","title":"No, I'm not sure they're legitimate.","votes":"29","pct":64.44,"type":"x","order":"1","resources":[]},{"id":"11","title":"No, I'm afraid they will use it for drugs.","votes":"10","pct":22.22,"type":"x","order":"2","resources":[]},{"id":"12","title":"Yes, I feel good about helping someone down on their luck.","votes":"5","pct":11.11,"type":"x","order":"3","resources":[]},{"id":"13","title":"Yes, we could all end up like that.","votes":"1","pct":2.22,"type":"x","order":"4","resources":[]}] ["#194e84","#3b6b9c","#1f242a","#37414a","#60bb22","#f2babb"] sbar 160 160 /communitypolls/vote/1-root.html?id=5 No answer selected. Please try again. Thank you for your vote. Answers Votes ...