Mary Hausch: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 4:25 p.m.

1. Describe the nominee's main area of contribution and how it impacts the community.


Category: Arts

About Mary Hausch

Occupation: Producing Director, Hippodrome Theatre

Years in Gainesville: 45

Spouse: Rocky Draud

As the Hippodrome begins its 40th Season, Hippodrome founding Member and Producing Director, Mary Hausch has directed over 120 plays and acted in 50 productions. She wrote and directed An Enchanted Land which won Best of the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland in 1999. Her adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has warmed the hearts of Gainesville audiences for over 25 years. Her resume included directing some of the Hipp’s most memorable productions including God of Carnage, Defiance, Doubt, Anna in the Tropics, Life x 3, Proof, Dinner with Friends, Hysteria, God’s Man in Texas, Three Tall Women, M. Butterfly, and True West. She worked with Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel on her play The Mineola Twins before the NYC production at the Roundabout Theatre. She directed a PBS teleplay based on David Mamet’s The Duck Variations.

Mary’s artistic contributions are matched by her consistent efforts to successfully manage the economics of a professional theatre, an independent and international movie theatre and an award-winning at risk teen program succeeding at keeping kids on track to graduate from high school.

Mary’s management of the theatre makes possible a significant economic impact in the community, consistently employing a staff of over 50 full and part-time employees as well as guest artists, directors, and designers.

Under Mary’s guidance, the Hippodrome’s doors are open 340 days each year with programming vital to the community as well as the downtown economy.

Also, under Mary’s direction, the Hippodrome donates over $200,000 yearly in tickets to other non-profits to assist their efforts in fund raising and sustainability

2. Length of service.

Mary is a graduate of the University of Florida and since 1973 at the Hippodrome Mary has contributed 40 years of service to artistic and economic well-being of the Gainesville Community.

3. Who most benefits from the nominee's efforts?

Mary has contributed to the artistic, educational, and economic growth of countless community members, organizations, and school aged children. Sharing the artistic wealth from the stage as well as making it possible for young people to experience theatre for the first time has made a huge difference in the life of our community. Mary has fostered writing programs, community forums, mental health discussions, and employment opportunities for the community at the Hippodrome. During her time as Producing Director, Mary has made sure the theatre returned the good will of the community by donating over $200,000 yearly in tickets and services to other non-profits.

4. Amount of time, personal sacrifice involved.

In 40 Seasons Mary’s priorities were to present the best professional theatre, cinema, and education programming available which included beyond regular working hours and investment of personal finances. Mary takes the economic and the artistic needs of the community very seriously and works hard to sustain value of the theatre’s contribution.

5. How will the nominee's work continue in the future?

Mary’s direction and dedication is particularly important through very difficult times for Arts organizations in the United States. With dwindling government and grant funding, Mary is seeking new ways to fund and sustain the theatre so that it can continue to make strong contributions to our community.

6. What else should we know about the nominee's efforts?

Mary has served with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs as a panelist and reviewer. She was the recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award in 1987 for founding of the HITT (Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre) program, The Gainesville Sun’s Star Business Award in 1991, The Gainesville Sun’s Arts Person of the Year Award in 1993, and the National Park Service Award for her work with the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historical Site on An Enchanted Land in 1998. She was selected as one of 50 men and women of "notable achievement" in the past 100 years by The Gainesville Sun in 2000 and as The Woman of the Arts by the Gateway Girl Scout Council in 2001. She received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003 from the Florida International Volunteer Corps (FAVACA) for creating a HITT pilot program in the Caribbean. In 2004, the Florida Professional Theatre Association honored Hausch with the Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre. She also was honored by the University of Florida in 2004 awarded the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award for founding the Hippodrome and for developing nationally and internationally recognized theatre programs. In 2008, Mary received the 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards from the City of Gainesville, Alachua County and the Florida Theatre Conference Distinguished Career Award for her outstanding career in the arts.

Submitted by Rocky Draud

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