Archive for July, 2013|Monthly archive page

Authority, Power and Influence from Shaun Franks

In Green Task Froce, Internship, Shaun Franks on July 24, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Last week’s FAIR forum was very inspirational. The overall message was about more than just our experience here at OSF; it was about life. Where do we feel we have authority? Where do we feel we have power? Where do we feel we have influence? Although we were asked in the context of OSF, after debriefing I felt like we were really being taught that all of these concepts originate within ourselves.

I met with Alison Carey last week and we discussed the climate change survey that will be going out to the company. I’m really excited about it even though it is a fairly long survey. Who knows the impact of asking questions about the climate? This survey has the potential of going nationwide though TCG (theatre talk I don’t really know because I have no idea what the acronym stands for). Depending on the results of the survey, TCG might begin administering it throughout theaters across the country.

The past month at OSF I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Green Task Force and the sustainable practices within the company. I’ve only begin to scratch the surface and plan to continue my education through a more active approach. Yesterday, after the administration meeting, I scheduled time to meet with multiple individuals both internal and external to the organization to begin conversations on what they believe should be worked on.

Today, I met with Alison Carey, and multiple professionals across the country including TCG to discuss the creation of an Eco-theatre journal. I’m really excited about the future of theatre and hope to see it become greener as time goes on.


“Bittersweet” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound Design on July 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Cynthia Booker 7.24

It is so bittersweet to be leaving this Monday. I have found great joy and pride in my work here at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I have had to honor of working with five production, four designers, 3 spaces, nine fabulous sound technicians and engineers, and numerous theatre artists. I have also had the most pleasant summer weather I have ever experienced. I’ve been surrounded by a beautiful town with exquisite scenery. I have been challenged. I have grown. I have been blessed. The transient nature of working in theatre has always had two faces to me. You have the side where you can’t wait until it’s over and then the glorious side where you could wait a life time before it finished. I hate to leave this prosperous, vitalizing community but I know my current tenure has lapsed. I have to climb the next step on my path. But I am still holding out hope that one of the steps in my future leads me back to Ashland. I hope to return someday in any capacity to this cultivating company. In my first blog, I shared that I hope to find a home here in Ashland. I have indeed found a home branded in my heart and soul. I will carry the lessons with me throughout my life. After all, home is where the heart is. The people I have come to know, especially in the sound department will always hold my respect and admiration. Thank you Oregon Shakespeare for a beautiful experience.


“The Subtle Manifestations of Privilege” from Frank Guzman

In Assistantship, Audience Development, Frank Guzman on July 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Privilege often goes unnoticed when you are not looking for it. In my own life, small privileges often fly under the radar whilst my mind is occupied with the analysis of privilege, or lack thereof, in the lives of others. Parking at the top of a hill, while not the ideal spot, is a privilege for a relatively able-bodied individual. It is a privilege for me. Staring out of the office window and sympathizing with the individual dressed as a giant Pita sandwich is a privilege held by my coworkers and I. Before the FAIR forums, I had already taken a metaphorical microscope to my life to examine ways in which I held privilege because of who I am, because of my background. I am an American citizen. I am an able-bodied individual, except for a weak knee and flat feet. I am a student at Stanford University. My family, while not rich, has never starved. I am male. I enjoy the privilege of being a straight man in a heteronormative society. I know all this and more.

What the FAIR forum has done is establish a weekly reminder of what I have and what is missing. My assistantship, this real world setting, is boosted by the privilege of discussing the issues addressed by the FAIR program. It is easy to forget about privilege. It often turns into background noise. Struggle and a lack of something are much harder to ignore. When you have just eaten you do not tend to think about the relative ease with which you often obtain your food. It is when your empty stomach howls at you for sustenance that you think about your food and why, where, when, how it gets to you. In conversation, I find myself watching my words lest verbal evidence of my privilege leak out. That is the wrong approach. Acknowledgement of privilege is not the same as pretending it is not there. What do I do with my privilege? What do I do about the areas of my life where I do not hold privilege? I don’t know. That is what I am still struggling to find out. But I struggle along in good company.

“Social Construct” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound Design on July 17, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Cynthia Booker 7.17

IT’S TECH WEEK! I’m so excited with this production, because the designer is allowing me to do most of the programming in Q-Lab! This is also the first production I am working on in the Bowmer Theatre space, so there is also that freshness of atmosphere for me. Also, The Tenth Muse is such a solid piece. It’s fun to truly immerse yourself in such a foreign concept of castes and such, but within our world of American Theatre. It’s such an interesting social structure that I find myself looking up information about it. There is something more freeing about a world where the classes are publicly and vocally distinguished, instead of an unspoken, understood difference of classes here in contemporary America. After watching this I am sure some theatre goers will leave feeling confident that there world isn’t ruled by social construct. But in fact it is and it’s a little entrapping to be a part of. Overall, I wouldn’t want to be a part of a society that shows hierarchy, but the fact is: as long as more than one person is in the room anywhere on earth there will be a hierarchy/social construct/power struggle. We, as humans/animals, will always give way to the fight to be better than others or to self-dominance.  At least in the world of spoken guidelines, you have something to reference. In our American society, we look mostly at physical property to access someone’s social standing, which can sometimes be deceiving. I feel like I hide the truth of my social class fairly well through appearance. I guess that is the positive side of our society, we can easily put on a mask to tell a different story of our life without fear of persecution. These are my ramblings. Also, as a human I change my thoughts/opinions freely and often.

Independence Day from Shaun Franks

In Archives, Green Task Froce, Internship, Shaun Franks on July 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Shaun Franks 7.10.13

This week started off great I was able to attend the 4th of July Parade in downtown Ashland. Claudia Alick invited people to utilize the lawn in front of her house to see the parade. I brought my family and was able to spend time with a lot of company members, it was a very cool experience.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the questions for the climate change survey scheduled to go out soon. I think it would be great to see how OSF company members view climate change. The possibility that TCG might distribute this survey throughout different theatre companies is also a big step towards awareness about environmental issues in theatre.

This week I attended the artistic staff meeting which I find very helpful in being informed about what’s going on at OSF. I was also able to attend the Archives First Friday Exhibit  in the Bowmer Theatre for Carl Ritchie and meet Carl Ritchie. I brought my wife and we had a great time learning about the historical preservation happening at OSF; I’m really excited about the $200,000 NEH grant they received.

I begun working on rewriting the Green Task Force Mission Statement, currently it reads more like a vision with a couple of goals associated with it. I’d like to establish a clearer vision so that we know what should be pursued. I also printed out all the minutes from the old green task force meetings so that I can begin work on a timeline on what has been accomplished thus far.

Shaun Franks

“Gifts to Uncover” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound Design on July 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Today is such a beautiful day. The warm sun radiates over our head bleaching our hair. The wind has a perfect breeze playing softly through the trees. The fragrances of different trees a plants veil the air. Rays and shadows dance below and through the trees. You can hear the rushing of water flowing down the creek. I am in love with the day. I had the afternoon to walk through a new (to me) portion of Lithia Park. I discovered the rose garden, fountain, and Japanese Garden. I even found the tennis courts. This side of the park is more open, clear, and meadow-like than the other side which is more trail like. I appreciate both.

It was so nice to have a clear view of the surrounding mountains without the interruption of power lines and street lights. Ashland holds many wonders that I wish I could discover before my tenure here is finished, but it is nice to know that there is still more gifts to uncover. How miserable would it be to know/think that you have seen it all. I love repeating experiences, but there is something so very magical and romantic about seeing something for the first time and then there is also the blessing, which is completely other, that is unwrapped when you realize how very special something is. Appreciation is filled with many depths that are uncovered very slowly. People say that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It is very true, but I also believe that a moment, a memory, an experience is worth a trillion words that will be spoken more exquisitely as you age and understand each moment at a different point in life. Looking at the world around you is THE most important duty of an artist.

“Why Am I Important To You?” from Frank Guzman

In Assistantship, Audience Development, Frank Guzman on July 10, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Frank Guzman 7.10

I’m supposed to look at you
And invite you to come see
What I work toward.
The bosses want you to buy tickets,

And I want you to buy tickets.

I want to give you an invitation
To the party
To watch your face light up,
When you see what I see.
Except that I won’t see you.

Because I don’t know you.
I’ve never met you,
And yet,
I am you.

So why am I important to you?
Why should you step through
The door
That I help to hold open
When you have 99 problems
And a theater ticket ain’t one?
Changes are coming
Obstacles loom

And you can’t stop,
Not even for a second

Because time is money.
I want both.
I want your time and your money
But I also want more,
Something deeper,
Something in your soul.

As the outside world fades away …Can I tell you a story?
I put my face on you
Because it’s the way that I know how to craft
To craft my persuasive essay.
I know your different iterations.
You are:
My cousin, my neighbor, the stranger
I met at a meeting.
But I can only speak from experience.
I can only tell you that a kid
Needs heroes and dreams,
And sword fights and love stories
And true life tales of our
Forebears who fought the status quo.
All I can do,
Is invite you, me,
To have a seat by my side
And watch

“Faith in Texas” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker on July 3, 2013 at 1:28 PM

I have less than a month left in Ashland. Although, many complain and have legitimate concerns about this hot weather, it makes me happy. This warm humid air is home to me. It reminds me of Texas. Texas has been receiving a bunch of bad publicity recently. I’ve heard many people passing that were hating on Texas. My home. Just because there are a handful of highly publicized bad seeds/actions doesn’t mean that all Texans are awful closed-minded fools. As a state that can be separated into 5 different climate zones; is considered a part of the southwest, Midwest, and South; and is one of the few states in the United States that has a white minority and one of the most complex diversity systems in the southern US region: I feel offended that people can try to even stereotype all Texans into one giant lump.

Take Wendy Davis for example. People are pointing at that event and try to showcase how awful Texans are, but what they are not pointing out is the fact that a Texan outside of the republican WASP standard was fighting for her fellow Texan women. There are Texans who deeply care about basic human rights. All this negative publicity and uproar in my home state makes me ashamed at the same time as proud. How can I be proud? I’m proud because in every case (whether people view it as positive or negative) Texans are showcased by fighting for the community they believe in. If you want to stereotype Texans, please stereotype them as an active people: people who care about their community and will do more than speculate or dismiss the world around them. Without conflict, there is no progress. I’m hoping to see much progress within the Texas government as these debates/conflicts further/reveal. Please don’t think that this is approval for people actions that are generated by hate or bigotry (which is found in every single government around the globe – not just the state of Texas), but rather an acknowledgement of people fighting for what they believe in. Cynthia Booker 7.3

A Brand New Day from Frank Guzman

In Assistantship, Audience Development, Frank Guzman on July 3, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Frank Guzman 7.3

This week I was able to do more with my assigned project in one day than I have been capable of doing in the 2.5 weeks that I’ve been here. This is not to say that you can view my work just yet. I have much further to go and a whole lot of expertise to cultivate before I will really be proud of exhibiting potential changes to my department’s website. Under the tutelage of my boss, Freda Casillas, and the folks who have been kind enough to teach me about website editing, my knowledge base has been growing in leaps and bounds. I now know a great deal about the work of the Audience Development department and my ability to help present its public face has been strengthened through meetings, copious note taking and sheer trial and error. Still, I am an amateur and each new accomplishment, i.e. discovery about a button’s function, is like a fascinating, shiny bauble. When I say I was able to do more today, I mean that I have taken several steps forward in terms of my confidence and editing prowess but goals remain and are not yet met. The work I am doing is humbling. Every small accomplishment is a reminder that teamwork and preparation are crucial elements of any success story. Just throw in a dash of dogged determination and voila! Progress.

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