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David Hemsley Caldwell Joins Totem Pole Playhouse as Artistic Director

He is joined by James Nadeau as Interim Executive Director.

David Hemsley Caldwell Joins Totem Pole Playhouse as Artistic Director

David Hemsley Caldwell has joined Totem Pole Playhouse as Artistic Director and he is joined by James Nadeau as Interim Executive Director. The appointments were announced January 4, 2021 by Kevin Schoenberger, Chair of the Board of Directors.

Mr. Caldwell is no stranger to the Totem Pole Playhouse having first appeared as Rev. Oglethorpe in the theatre's original production of Smoke on the Mountain in 1998. David has continued to appear and work at Totem Pole for the past 23 years.

Mr Caldwell is honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of so many talented and innovative leaders: Rowan Joseph, Ray Ficca, Carl Schurr, William Putch and the Putch family, and the founding artistic directors Carl Genus and Muriel Benson. David has happily called Pennsylvania his summer home for nearly three decades. He is grateful and elated to begin this next chapter with Totem Pole Playhouse.He began his professional career working in casting for NBC Television, Broadway and Film. He then moved to Actor/Literary Representation with Bret Adams, Ltd. and the Agency for Performing Arts working with such artists as Judy Kaye, Robert Harling, Phylicia Rashad and Donald O'Connor.

From 1996 to 2001 David served as The Gretna Timbers Theatre as Artistic Director and was a visiting artist for the Conservatory Theatre Arts at Webster University and Otterbein University. Mr. Caldwell has directed nearly 100 productions in New York, Los Angeles and across the country.

Most recently he directed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas for Totem Pole Playhouse, Million Dollar Quartet for the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, The Cake for Cape Fear Regional Theatre (CFRT) and Oystertown: An Original Evening of Storytelling and Music conceived and written by Mr. Caldwell for the Dixie Theatre Foundation, as well as nearly a dozen special events for CFRT and Otterbein University, including their annual Alumni Awards since 2014.

Mr. Caldwell's shows have won numerous awards for best direction throughout the country.

He is honored and humbled to follow in the footsteps of so many talented and innovative leaders: Rowan Joseph, Ray Ficca, Carl Schurr, William Putch and the Putch family, and the founding artistic directors Carl Genus and Muriel Benson.

James Nadeau also is no stranger to Totem Pole Playhouse having worked as Associate Producer for the past two seasons, having completed a ten-year contract with Stiletto Entertainment in Los Angeles as Casting Director. James has been involved in the entertainment business for 35 years.

James has worked at The Geffen Playhouse, Los Angeles, Astor Place Theatre (home to Blue Man Group), New York where he played an essential role in its opening as the Assistant Box Office Manager and House Manager.

James has also performed nationally and internationally in numerous productions including Music of the Night, working closely with the Andrew Lloyd Webber team, as well as Cameron Mackintosh in The Really Useful Group's Hey, Mr. Producer!

General Manager, Sue McMurtray shares, "I'm thrilled that David will be joining the talented and dedicated team at Totem Pole. He and James bring years of a multifaceted artistic experience as well as a collaboration that allows for a workplace of harmony and equality. I very much look forward to working with both of these gentlemen as we enter our 71st year of providing summer entertainment to the Cumberland Valley."


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