Donald Dummond, 42, was born in New Jersey but spent most of his childhood in Bellingham. He and his wife, Heather Dyer, founded Stone Town Theatre Works in 2008.
The company presents "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 9-11, continuing Aug. 16-18 at the Carrot & Stick Community Farm & Workshop, just east of Bellingham at 4104 Y Road.
Audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets; oven-baked pizza, local produce and local wines will be available for purchase. Details: stonetowntheatreworks.com.
Question: What sparked your interest in theater?
Answer: My first community theater experience came when I was in sixth grade with a production of "Oliver!" I played one of the pickpockets who hang out with Fagin. The experience had a profound impact on me. From that point on I've been active in theater. I have a bachelor of arts and a master of arts in theater from Western Washington University.
Q: Who encouraged you along your path?
A: I've been encouraged by many wonderful teachers over the years, but the most encouraging individual has been my wife, Heather. We met in 1992 during a production of "Hamlet" and have continued to work together on projects ever since, including this summer's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," which Heather directs. I produce alongside Jeff Braswell, and am playing the roles of Peter Quince and Egeus.
Q: How did Stone Town Theatre Works come about?
A: Heather and I returned to Bellingham in 2008 after having lived for several years in Portland, Ore. We really wanted a project that we could build from the ground up.
Heather, in particular, had been dreaming of directing "King Lear" for several years. Our friend, local actor David Cox, had also been dreaming of playing King Lear for some time. Creatively, we had a fit with Heather and David.
We approached Jeff Braswell about joining us to help produce the production, and Stone Town Theatre Works was born. Incidentally, the name "Stone Town" has a local connection with Bellingham. During a historic boat tour of Bellingham Bay, we learned that "Stone Town" was a nickname for Bellingham during the days when Chuckanut sandstone was a major export. We loved the local connection and industrious sound for our company.
Q: Why is the show being staged in a field?
A: Heather, Jeff and I have some experience with Shakespeare in the park. Heather, in particular, had been mulling over the problem of lighting theatrical productions in settings where an option to plug in is not available.
Last summer Heather began to think about ways of lighting a stage production using a self-sustaining power source and over the last year has built several LED lighting instruments that run off of batteries. All eight lights use less power than one incandescent light bulb!
Our friend and creative collaborator Ephraim Kurshewski, who plays Oberon this summer, suggested performing on his organic farm on Y Road. The setting of the farm creates an environment that ties perfectly into themes surrounding nature in the play, and provides a beautiful backdrop for the outdoor settings of the play. Additionally, the locale provides opportunity to test Heather's homemade lighting instruments.
Playing on the farm creates a nice connection with our sponsor, the Community Food Co-op, as well as Sustainable Connections' Food to Bank On Program. Our Thursday, Aug. 9, performance is a benefit night for Food to Bank On.
Q: What's your day job?
A: I work in sales and marketing for Sterling Insurance.
Q: What your plans for the future?
A: Theatrically, my primary focus is Stone Town Theatre Works. I plan to continue to work to grow the company in terms of both creativity and audience.
Q: Other interests?
A: I dabble in music (play guitar and occasionally sing with Whatcom Chorale), have a 16-year-old daughter, and love spending my down time with my family and friends.
Reach MARGARET BIKMAN at firstname.lastname@example.org or 715-2273.