TALENT — Doug Warner has resigned his post as producing director of Camelot Theatre, saying only "it was time to part ways."

TALENT — Doug Warner has resigned his post as producing director of Camelot Theatre, saying only "it was time to part ways."

Warner, 60, did not elaborate on his reasons but said he has "nothing but respect and love for everyone in the company."

He said he plans to embark on a career as a freelance producer, music director, set designer and actor with theater companies in the region, starting with "Hello, Dolly!" at the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater.

Warner produced 55 plays over five seasons at Camelot, and, as chief financial officer, saw revenues double to more than $500,000 a year.

Warner's resignation last week "caught us by surprise," Camelot Artistic Director Livia Genise said Monday. Warner was in the midst of directing "A Few Good Men," which opens in February.

"I have no idea (why Warner left). He gave us reasons we didn't understand," she said. "He seemed not to be happy. He said he had his reasons, but the one he gave us didn't ring true. It was a bit of a shock."

Roy Rains, Warner's production assistant, will step in as interim production manager. Warner's additional role as artistic associate will not be filled.

Rains was resident stage manager and light/sound operator at the Butte Opera House in Cripple Creek, Colo. He played John Birt in "Frost/Nixon" and Gary Lefkowitz in "I Hate Hamlet."

Rains' wife, Barbara, is Camelot's costume designer.

Genise has taken over direction of "A Few Good Men," hired a marketing and development director and will soon bring in a business manager. "A Few Good Men" is on track for its February opening, she said. Genise said Warner "was certainly doing an adequate job and was very helpful putting together the new production team" and bringing designers into creation of the new Camelot Theatre, now under construction on Talent Avenue.

Warner, a former executive director and artistic director at Mendocino Theater Company, said Camelot should continue to do well and that he was "instrumental" in establishment of the new theater.

"I was Livia's artistic associate and right-hand man ... and I'm proud of my great relations with artists and audiences," he said.

"I loved them all. I poured my heart and soul into it and have nothing but love and respect for everyone."

A news release from Camelot noted the company hopes Warner will return.

Camelot, which stages 12 productions a year, is set to occupy its new, 164-seat James Morrison Collier theater in June.

For more information, visit www.camelottheatre.org.

John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. E-mail him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.