To thine own self be true—Camilla Ross’s resourceful, versatile life is a testament to this ideal.
Passionate, loving and giving, she’s led and gathered a host of loyal students, colleagues and champions throughout her life to achieve great works, and empower the spirits and well-being of others.
“To be a catalyst for social change is really where it’s at for me,” Camilla said. “I believe theater should always be a venue for social change. I love the art of live theater and love what it does to the human soul and spirit. It moves us to look at life differently. To leave off the rose colored glasses and really see the human condition.”
ETC is a shining example. Founded in 2008 to give voice to actors’ innate talent for character development, Camilla has since produced more than 20 inspired, original performances. Emerging and professional cast and crew have blossomed under her guidance. And together they’ve created profound, can’t-ever-forget shows that illuminate social issues, and transform audience curiosity into concern and action.
The art of performing is also ingrained in Camilla’s soul. “God gave me the gift when I was born, I just discovered its worth as I got older,” she added. Camilla has a deep well of experience and mentorship to tap into for her ETC roles—from her days at Emerson College, and then in regional theaters and commercials. Among her favorite portrayals? Capturing the heart, spark and essence of Harriet Tubman in the one-woman show Harriet Tubman’s Dream.
Camilla is also deeply involved with youth, their visions for social change and desire to see the world as a stage of peace. To that end she’s a tireless advocate for children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. She gives kids and teen real-life theatrical experience through ETC’s Summer Youth Camp, and enlivens their eagerness to learn about history and genuine heroes through ETC’s school programs. Camilla is a steadfast suicide prevention advocate too, helping teens and adults avoid this tragedy and move forward to a happier, more positive future.
And because everything Camilla undertakes is wrapped in the grace of giving back, a portion of each show’s profits are donated to local and national nonprofit organizations. Recipients include Operation Smile, Safe Futures, Noank Baptist Group Homes, Union Baptist Church, Hurricane Katrina Mission and others.
Camilla has taught business courses part time at Three Rivers Community College since 2005, sits on the Emerson College Alumni Board and is past president of the Connecticut Alumni Chapter. In May 2014 Camilla was honored by the Writer’s Block of New London, Conn., for her past work as program director. In June 2013 she was named Woman of The Year by the Women’s Network of Southeastern Connecticut, and she’s been featured in many periodicals for her community service.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy and member of Kappa Beta Delta, Camilla earned her BA in Performing Arts: Acting from Emerson College in 1985 and her MBA in Finance from Baker College in Michigan. She enjoys traveling, scrapbooking and writing, and lives with her husband and ETC’s photographer, Jack Ross, in Stonington, Conn. Their children are now grown and making the world a better place.
Aziza M. Clayton
Camilla is a visionary. Her creative work with Emerson Theater Collaborative is her vehicle to bring awareness to the masses. I have had the pleasure of working with Camilla as a business consultant as well as an actor in many of her productions. She has always upheld the standard of a true professional. Most impressively, she maintains the integrity of her creative works. The message is communicated clearly and the audience is emotionally moved and socially alerted to many issues in our society. Camilla is giver. She brings goodness and light into all that she does. Her generous spirit is contagious. This is evident in her company's standard to donate a portion of each production's revenue to a relevant nonprofit organization in the community. Camilla is a leader. Not only does she bring amazing works to life for a cause, she uses the process to mentor young adults. I have had the pleasure of observing her in action with her young people and watching them blossom into amazing individuals! I look forward to the opportunities we have to work together. She is a true partner.
Camilla turns ideas into action with precision, confidence, unmatched competence and great care. As a program director for the Writer's Block for multiple seasons now, she’s achieved the "impossible"—exceeding financial targets, coordinating chaos into order, and ultimately helping dozens of youth shine on stage and off.
Event Logistics Coordinator at Vermont Hard Cider Company, LLC
I met Camilla Ross for a meeting about work-study college students interested in volunteering. Before I knew it, her passion for theatre and dedication to youth motivated me to get involved with the organization and students she was working with. During that time we focused much of our energy on organizing a major fundraiser. Camilla is a natural leader and throughout the entire process she exhibited those talents as she maintained organization of multiple components, encouraged community involvement and maintained personal and professional relationships. Camilla's heart is bigger than words. Her compassion for others and willingness to guide, help, assist, or support at any given moment is unprecedented. Thank you Camilla!
Copyright © 2021 Sedona Arts Academy - All Rights Reserved.