This summer feels a little surreal to David Greenham.

The long-tenured producing director at the Theater at Monmouth announced long ago that this would be his final summer at the theater.

For 14 years now, Greenham has assembled a company of hard-working actors, put together a summer schedule deep on Shakespeare, and staged some of the best plays in Maine. Along with that, he helped lead an ambitious capital campaign that resulted in the beautifully executed restoration of Cumston Hall, where the theater stages its plays.

And now, he’s facing his final curtain call at Monmouth. Greenham will step aside at summer’s end.

Actually, that’s a little off. His successor, Dawn McAndrews, begins her duties in the fall, and Greenham is cast in “On the Twentieth Century,” which opens in late September.

So his final curtain call at Monmouth will come at the close of that show in early October, but the farewell parties have already begun.

“I’m bound and determined that this will be a smooth transition,” Greenham said in an interview outside L.L. Bean in Freeport, where he awaited the opening of “Twelfth Night” at the Freeport Shakespeare Festival. “I gave two years’ notice that I was leaving, so I think it’s worked out well. I’ve been searching for regrets, but so far I don’t have any.”

Greenham is unsure of his future. He made the decision to leave Monmouth because his son, Zach — a lighting intern at the theater — is going to be a junior at Maranacook High School, and Greenham wants to be available to visit college campuses next summer.

The other factor is his age. He turned 50 in November, and came to the realization that “I either have to commit to running a nonprofit the rest of my career or stop and do other things I’m interested in.”

Those “other things” will include teaching and directing theater at the University of Maine-Augusta, as well as on a freelance basis. But he’s most definitely looking for work in the creative or community sector or with a company that values creative people in its work force.

Above all else, Greenham is a problem solver. That’s what theater is all about, isn’t it?

“The idea of creative problem solving is one that has become kind of rare,” he says. “Somehow, imagination seems to be lacking. But when you run a nonprofit or in the rehearsal hall, we creatively solve problems all the time. You learn to allow yourself to be bold enough to find the right solution.”

At its most basic level, his job is to put a cast together, give them a script and help them find solutions within the group that results in the best possible outcome. Their success is measured in ticket sales and applause. There’s a direct cause-and-effect in their work.

He believes the skills he possesses as a director and theater manager are transferable to other sectors of the economy, whether it’s a small business, a large corporation or some other organization altogether. He’s interested in community development and is gung-ho about tying economic development to the arts and the creative economy.

Greenham has been in Maine since 1985 and at Monmouth since 1998. He has deep ties to his community and to the state, and does not see himself going anywhere anytime soon.

In the meantime, Monmouth remains in full swing through Saturday. This final week of the summer season is the busiest week of them all, with two shows daily. Including Monday’s off day, that translates into 12 performances of six different shows in six days.

There will be no rest, and neither Greenham nor his company seeks any.

During his time at Monmouth, Greenham has prided himself on running a theater company known for the quality of its plays and its willingness to tackle big challenges.

“I’m very proud that we are seen as a creative organization that is not afraid of anything,” he said.


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

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