ALEX MUSTAKAS STARTED WITH ‘A LITTLE OPERA HOUSE’ AND TURNED IT INTO ONE OF CANADA’S MOST SUCCESSFUL THEATRE COMPANIES

Alex Mustakas founded the Drayton Entertainment empire in 1991 and as artistic director/CEO turned it into one of the most successful theatre companies in Canada

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Alex Mustakas at Hamilton Family Theatre in Cambridge, one of seven venues this artistic director runs. (PETER LEE / WATERLOO REGION RECORD)

Usually when I email someone 30 in-depth questions about their life and motivations — after an initial face-to-face interview — they like to mull it over for a few days, then a few more days, then a week or two, until finally they forget about it and I have to bombard them with phone calls and emails saying, “Don’t make me come to your house!”

But Alex Mustakas, who founded the Drayton Entertainment empire in 1991 and as artistic director/CEO turned it into one of the most successful theatre companies in Canada, had his responses signed, sealed and delivered before I finished logging on to my computer.

“With so much going on I tell all my staff, ‘Do it now!’” he notes when I compliment his efficiency.

“If you set it aside, things just pile up and you can never catch up.”

Which explains the success of his seven-venue company that rose like a phoenix from the detritus of a decommissioned opera house with a defiantly unconventional mandate: take theatre out of the realm of the earrings and monocle crowd and bring it back to the people.

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