Q&A: Don Hampton talks joys of directing

Don Hampton’s career in theater is, to make a pun, storied. During his time in the Montgomery County theater community Hampton has garnered respect as a director of many shows, but also for his elaborate and technically detailed sets.

It should come as no surprise that Hampton has twice won a Montie Award for Best Set Design, and has been nominated a total of four times. The first was in 2012 for “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which he also directed. The second was in 2014 for “Bus Stop,” directed by Joe Viser. Interestingly, he was nominated twice for Best Set Design both years he won for that category.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” is the third-most successful show in the Monties history with eight Montie Awards and 14 nominations. Hampton directed “Almost, Maine” in the 2014-2015 season and made some time to chat with us.

TM: What has been your favorite show to be a part of and what made being a part of the experience so much fun?
DH: “To Kill A Mockingbird” was the most gratifying as I felt the message still needed communicating, and my cast did that beautifully. “Almost, Maine” the most fun I’ve had with a show in a long time — since “What The Butler Saw.”

TM: In general, how do you prepare for a show? What tips might you give to others?
DM: As an actor, my character starts from the ground up, i.e. footwear. As director, it’s finding the “world” in which the play resides.

TM: If you could be a part of any show, what would it be and why?
DH: Directing at this point still gives me the greatest pleasure as it gives the most control over the final product. Acting from a pure sense of the most direct communication with the audience.

TM: What is your favorite part about being involved in the theater community?
DH: The people — getting to know them as actors and human beings.

Tickets are on sale now for the fourth annual Montie Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award for only $10. The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. at The Crighton Theater. Ticket price includes admission into the after party at Founders Plaza across the street from The Crighton next to The Owen Theater.
Seating is limited so visit www.crightontheatre.org/Ticketing to reserve seats today.

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