Gig&Tell: Oregon Cabaret

  • As Good as Non-Eq Gets!    
    10/25/2012  10:57am

    For a non-equity company, this is about as good as regional theater gets. Long runs, which mean once you're up, that's all you have to worry about, and the city of Ashland is a great place to settle down for a few months. Decent pay for non-eq (better than most places offering EMC points). Housing can be an issue, and if you don't have a car you can be kind of S.O.L. when it comes to groceries, and even getting to the theater.

    The theater lives in the shadow of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (evident even in its motto "Ashland's Other Professional Theatre"), but it's got some real heart behind it. A lot of offstage people work for both theaters, so if you're nice, you can expect to finagle some comp tickets to see some big-budget theater while you're there.

    The city is a hippie intellectual artist mecca, and if it's the right season, the great outdoors will beckon you on your day off with skiing, rafting, hiking, and nature in abundance! A tourist trap with both brain and brawn.

    One star off for lack of housing and the occasional frustration that comes from not having the protective guideposts of a union to dictate maintenance, safety, and other such technicalities that arise during tech/a run. But generally, if something is wrong or broken, and you make a consistent case for it, it will get fixed. I would work there again.

    I see that the last review was from several years ago, and OCT has improved their housing situation since then. They have purchased a 4-bedroom Victorian bed & breakfast, and actors each have their own room and bathroom, with shared living, kitchen, and laundry spaces. There is other housing available as well, and the production company will line it up for you.
    The theater has a new owner as of September 2014, and she has some exciting plans for the place.

    11/02/2014  10:33am

    Had the pleasure of working at O.C.T. Our show was well received and great fun to perform. The stage is quite small. The house (140 max) is quite beautiful, an old converted church, and the a la carte dinner theater service is very well run, good food. Very nice staff all around. Note about the housing: the previous post said a cast house was purchased, and from my understanding, that is not true. OCT is renting that cast house, which was quite beautifully appointed and very well located, about a 7 min walk to the theater in beautiful downtown Ashland OR. Ashland is an amazing place, really fulfilling to be there, and a lot of greet food. It's touristy too, but I loved it. They pay for travel and housing, and monthly performers salary was $1700. Long contracts which is nice.

    01/04/2015  1:37am

    I worked here years ago and had one of the best non-union experiences I have ever had. They have just come under new ownership, but from my understanding thats mostly only affecting the kind of shows they pick. I have quite a few friends who have worked under both owners and said its basically all the same. But, the new owner is trying to add a little more edge to their usually silly campy seasons.

    Ashland, as mentioned above, is the cutest little town. It's almost like getting to live on main street in disneyland... just with more hippies and weed. You can survive here without a car if you are close the theatre as everything you need is downtown... Though if you need a gym membership its a pretty far walk out of town to get there (oh hippies). There are tons of great restaurants and parks, and the attitude in town is just charming. The town LOVES this theatre so you will certainly be recognized as you walk about.

    The theatre itself is super adorable. An intimate, yet large space with a great amount of charm. The dressing rooms are pretty tight depending on the size of your cast. But manageable. The sets are always beautiful and costumes too. The salary for non-union is pretty decent 1600-1700 a month, with paid housing and travel. It is a dinner theatre, but it doesn't feel like your average dinner theatre. (and the food is fucking good) The new artistic staff is super awesome and really invested in taking this endeavor to a new level. All in all, I highly recommend this job.

    01/15/2015  6:33pm

    Can I ask how everyone got hired? I never saw a posting anywhere for the auditions and submitted myself via email. Have any of you gotten hired through video submission?

    03/10/2015  2:40pm

    Most of the folks in the recent productions have known the new AD at the theater, having previously worked with her. Video submissions, I really dont know about that....

    03/27/2015  12:17am

    Great place to work as a noneq! I was treated very well here. Talent and production quality was great and the new artistic staff is wonderful. 5 stars to the housing alone! The best I've had, working at a noneq house. They provide everyone your own private bedroom at least. Plus you get to live in Ashland, OR which is a beautiful little town with a wonderfully supportive theatre community. Also, I felt that the pay was definitely on the higher end of most noneq contracts.

    Living in Ashland without a car is a little difficult, but manageable. Most things are within walking distance, however sometimes it would've been nice to have for groceries. There is a gym close to the theatre.

    Overall, I would recommend this place to anyone!

    06/09/2016  11:28pm