Dancer, director, teacher and choreographer Ray Hogg has joined Rainbow Stage as artistic director, the company has announced.
Hogg has extensive experience in musical theatre and dance in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Rainbow Stage’s new executive director Julie Eccles, who was recently promoted from general manager, said she was "thrilled" to appoint him.
Hogg said he was very excited to have joined Rainbow Stage.
"To say that this is tremendously joyous news for me would be an understatement. To call the news of my appointment breathtakingly exciting comes a little bit closer to the truth. For years I have been trying to create ways to work more closely with the world-class arts community that calls Winnipeg its home.
"I am thrilled, honoured and humbled to be named the new artistic director of Rainbow Stage and given the dual charges of nurturing and developing Manitoban musical theatre artists and artisans, and guiding Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre into its brilliant future.
"I look forward to working with the entire team at Rainbow Stage to continue to produce some of Canada’s finest musical theatre."
As a performer, Hogg was a soloist with the Danny Grossman Dance Company, DanceTheatre David Earle, Julia Sasso Dances and CORPUS Dance Projects, with whom he toured Canada, Europe and cable TV as the immensely popular Captain Krankovitch (Treehouse TV’s 4 Square).
After five years on the concert dance stage, Ray moved to Stuttgart , Germany, to perform as Plato/MacAvity in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats and has also appeared in such shows as: Kiss Me Kate, Jesus Christ Superstar, Dreamgirls, Seussical, Evita, Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Ross Petty’s Beauty & the Beast and, for the Stratford Festival, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and My One and Only.
Hogg’s work as a director and choreographer has allowed him to stage pieces for two European/World tours with CORPUS Dance Projects, at Toronto’s Bluma Appel Theatre, Drayton Entertainment’s Huron Country Playhouse and Drayton Festival Theatre, the Stratford Festival’s Festival Theatre and at the Shaw Festival’s Royal George Theatre and Festival Theatre. He worked with Rainbow Stage in 2011 as director of Cats.
Most recently he has been teaching at George Brown College and the Randolph Academy of the Performing Arts in Toronto.
His experience as an educator means he sees Rainbow Stage as an opportunity to develop talent in all theatre disciplines.
"I am passionate about increasing community arts involvement, providing professional development for artists, and arts training for young talents," Hogg said. "The more support we can give to our artists, the better equipped they are to tell our stories."
Hogg and Eccles said Rainbow Stage intends to announce the lineup for the 2013 season — the company’s 59th — early in the New Year.
"We have a very exciting mix of never-before-seen shows programmed for 2013, that I know will challenge our artists and delight our audiences," Hogg said.
"Keep your eyes peeled!"