Like a lot of kids who grew up in Maine, Brian Swasey couldn’t wait to leave. And like a lot of his peers, he finds himself back in the state for professional and personal fulfillment. Swasey, who graduated from South Portland High School in 1991, returned to Maine this year to take over the No. 2 job at the Ogunquit Playhouse.

Swasey, 42, is finishing his first season as associate producer. His job entails making sure everything comes together on opening night – and every night thereafter. He touches every element of the theater: He works with actors, directors, choreographers, musicians, costume and set designers, sound engineers, marketers and back-office staff.

If there’s a problem, he solves it. When a star brings her dog to rehearsal, Swasey walks it.

“My job touches on everything,” he said. “I am a good multitasker, which is important because that’s what this job is all about. I don’t get stressed. I don’t tend to panic.”

He worked as artistic director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center in New York from 2001 to 2008, and as a director and choreographer at New York and regional theaters, including Arundel Barn, Seacoast Rep and Maine State. He was directing in Maui when he heard the job in Ogunquit was open. He almost didn’t apply, because he knew the amount of work involved.

But he also knew the payoff: the chance to come home to Maine and bolster his resume.

Ogunquit has a stellar reputation in the theater world, he said. To get to the next level – to work on Broadway – he needs to get people’s attention. “Ogunquit is the top of the food chain as far as regional theater goes,” he said. “It’s a place people want to work.”

Swasey was a latecomer to musical theater. He was in high school before he got serious about performing. When he graduated in 1991, his long-term goal involved law school. Music and dance were fun, but he assumed he would become a lawyer.

Those plans changed when he showed up in Durham, New Hampshire, on a campus visit. He fell in love with the University of New Hampshire, and instead of studying pre-law, he learned how to move and sing, earning a degree in musical theater and dance.