Archive for the ‘Community Producitons’ Category

“Juneteenth” from Roberta Inshco-Cox

In Assistantship, Community Producitons, Directing, Green Show, Uncategorized on May 21, 2017 at 8:05 AM

JuneteenthblogFor the past few weeks, I’ve been working on co-curating Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Juneteenth celebration, which this year will be held on Monday, June 19th, with Sam White, JaMeeka Holloway and Nemuna Ceesay. Last year I was able to attend Juneteenth as a community member because I was in town to see a weekend of shows. Now, I’m excited to be a part of the actual planning of the event, the curation of the material to be performed, and working as an ally alongside my fearless co-curators.

Juneteenth is a world-wide celebration to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Traditionally, Juneteenth services and events around the world have focused on community and education. I remember last year, a couple poignant moments were Christopher Henry Young’s choreography to “Rise up,” and the repetition of “yesterday was Emmet Till, Emmet Till was yesterday,” by a FAIR participant,  who popped up from the audience unexpectedly. Both were powerful and full of emotion, and ones that have stayed with me for a year now; a sort of emotional education.

This year our theme is “For Us, By Us: celebrating black joy, resilience and resistance,” and our goal is to move away from using this event to educate, but rather celebrate the joy of the black community, the resilience to move forward even in times of trouble, and the welcoming of ally-ship. Our curating team has already put in a ton of work, but I’m already feeling the pressure of time, as we only have a month left to wrap up planning, building the set list, and scheduling rehearsals for our choreography moments. Thankfully, we have also commissioned Christopher Henry Young to choreograph our opening number, and our first rehearsal was this week! Such beautiful work! He’s a joy to work with, and I had a ton of fun participating in learning his choreography. It was a blast, and I felt very welcomed! Planning this event has really challenged me, not allowing myself to hide away in my room when I’m not in rehearsals for Merry Wives of Windsor. I was originally nervous to speak up about wanting to participate in the organizing of Juneteenth, but I’m so glad that I did. My own community while here in Ashland has expanded ten-fold, and I’m feeling engaged and active in a completely different way.


“Monday Night in Ashland” from Julianna Stephanie Ojeda

In Assistantship, Community Producitons, Directing, Green Show, Uncategorized on March 29, 2017 at 10:14 AM

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When you immerse yourself in a new environment, often times you forget to reflect. Thank you for the weekly assignment.

Week two went by fast! I explored Ashland more and stumbled on to the Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic. I walked in and was asked if I’m sharing poetry or watching. I’m not a poet but that question made me wish I had material to share with the community. I entered took my seat and looked around. There was a combination of OSF employees, locals, tourist, and people that were just hiking through and were told hours before that this event was happening.

I think this community event in a nutshell captured the beauty of what OSF is. “We welcome ALL” is prominently displayed across the festival buildings – on windows, on walls, near doorways. To walk into a room with such an eclectic group of audience members/performers was magical. The pieces went from poetry to rap to guitar playing to singing. At one point a performer lent her guitar to the man that heard about the event hours before. One of the actors from the show I’m assistant directing was there with her husband and they shared a romantic love ballad rap duet. The sound technician also took his turn and played a tear-jerking piece of music that moved my soul and all he asked is that we think of the women that have made an impact on our lives.

I left the Hip Hop Poetry Open Mic with my heart opened and my imagination running, walked into my housing and I wrote some poetry.

I was glad that I didn’t stay inside on my Monday off.

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