Egyptian director just can’t stay away. | ParkRecord.com

Egyptian director just can’t stay away.

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record Staff

Dana Durbano is back and ready to take on the challenges of the Egyptian Theatre.

Serving as the Artistic Director for a small professional theatre company with noble goals is not always easy.

In fact, after 10 years at the Egyptian Theatre Company, first as director of the youth programs and then as artistic director, Dana Durbano had decided to explore other career opportunities and even tendered a letter of resignation.

But, the local theatre community, patrons and board members asked if she "would reconsider." She did and the Egyptian Theatre Company recently announced that Durbano has returned in a new role as Producing Artistic Director.

"I’ve invested a great deal in the Egyptian Theatre, it’s nice to know you’ve made a difference," Durbano said, "and we have a fabulous season ahead of us that deserves full creative attention."

The goal for the Egyptian is to continue to produce high quality productions but, she explained, ticket prices only cover one third of production costs. A typical production at the Egyptian costs $140,000.

"In order to achieve our goals, the Egyptian needs to secure corporate sponsorship and grant monies", Durbano said. The Egyptian Theatre Company is presently reorganizing their staff. Executive director Lynn Suksdorf is no longer with the company.

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"Part of our reorganization includes a Director of Development. If we can secure a firm financial foundation, the Egyptian can continue to produce Broadway favorites and succeed. With a Director of Development, we know we can attain our goals," Durbano said. "It takes a lot of money to produce big shows."

Neither Durbano’s resignation nor her re-hiring had anything to do with a singular occurrence.

"My resignation was not based on one particular event," Durbano said. "I have been working here a long, long time. It was carefully thought out; it wasn’t based on one person."

She recognizes the public may read into something that wasn’t there.

"Always, when one person resigns and somebody comes back it pretty much speaks for itself," she said. "My resignation was something I had thought about, but it just seemed a good time for me."

However, there was no peace for Durbano after she left.

After being away from the Egyptian, Durbano has a renewed sense of excitement to be here.

"I’m thrilled to be here. I’m back full force, we are in a good, good place and we are moving forward. This helped the board to evaluate things and our mission," she said.

"I have been bombarded by patrons and actors," she said. "There was a lot of heartache in the acting community and with the patrons. That was tugging at me, they wanted me back.

"Being gone for the four weeks, it was very hard for me," Durbano added. "I didn’t really realize how hard it would be. My connection to the city is through the Egyptian Theatre Company.

"It was hard, it was like, ‘whoa that’s my theatre.’ I love this place; I’ve always done it for the love. The energy that I feel is, I want this theatre to succeed," Durbano said.

The 2007 lineup is an ambitious season that builds on the reputation ETC has created over the past 25 years, most recently with sold-out performances of "Urinetown," "The Full Monty" and "Jesus Christ Superstar."

"Audiences have come to expect a high quality product from the Egyptian Theatre Company," Durbano said. "We’re delighted to share shows of this caliber with the patrons in Utah."

2007 season announced

The Egyptian Theatre was the first professional theater in Utah to present "Urinetown" and continues to bring new shows to Utah with "White Christmas" and "The Who’s Tommy."

The Egyptian Theatre Company announces the lineup for an exciting 2007 Season, as well as a great party to kick off the season on Nov. 11. The Gala event, with live music, dancing, and the eighth Annual Edwina Awards, promises to be a not-to-be-missed party celebrating 25 years of live theatre on Park City’s Main Street, this Saturday beginning at 6:30 pm.

Rounding out the 2007 Season will be a host of special engagements. Back by popular demand, Robert Dubac, who last season performed the hysterical hit "The Male Intellect: an Oxymoron," will present the sequel in the saga, "Intellect – Truth, Humor and the American Way," Jan. 11-13.

Open Heart, a must see new musical from film actor and director Robby Benson will make its Utah Premiere in concert version, March 30 through April 1. This special engagement takes a sharp, uncompromising look at the value of true love and life choices. Robby Benson will star with the original off-Broadway cast, Karla DeVito and Stan Brown.

Other special events include the yearly installment of the "Park City Follies" that takes to the stage April 26- 28. The run for this annual favorite has been extended to accommodate the throngs of people wanting to get tickets. The Egyptian is also teaming up with Utah Symphony’s Chamber Series to present Timothy Jones, Baritone, performing "Eight Songs for a Mad King" with Keith Lockhart conducting on Jan. 10. The Egyptian then collaborates with the Park City Jazz Festival in presenting for one night only, Cabaret entertainer, Jane Monheit, Sunday, Feb. 18, a night not to be missed.

For tickets or more information about any of the events listed, please call the Box Office at 435-649-9371 or visit http://www.parkcityshows.com