Posts Tagged ‘Audience Development’

“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.


“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

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.

What Not to Wear from Regina Morones

In Audience Development, Internship, Regina Morones on June 27, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Regina Morones 6.27This week, I had a great time exploring the OSF Costume Rental Shop with Evelyn Carr and Michael Leon from the hair and wig department. We were given a tour of their vast array of costumes and accessories. They have costumes that range from Roman to modern as well as an extensive selection of Medieval and Renaissance period costumes. These costumes are highly sought after by theatre companies and film studios throughout the US. Recently, various costumes from OSF’s Costume Rentals were featured in Game of Desks, a Game of Thrones spoof on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Saturday Night Live also uses costumes from the rental shop for many of their sketches. I was excited to learn that OSF costumes have been worn by many celebrities.

Regina Morones 6.27b

To my surprise, after our tour we were invited to try on any costume we liked! Each one of us picked out the most elaborate costume we could find and accessorized with an elaborate headdress of our choice. It was so much fun to not only try on a costume but also take on the personality that each costume brought out in us. These elaborate costumes definitely brought out our silly, playful and royal sensibilities. If you want to get an up-close look of the amazing artistry that goes into costumes for the festival, I recommend visiting Emily at the OSF Costume Rentals Shop.

Audience Development from Frank Guzman

In Assistantship, Audience Development, Frank Guzman on June 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Frank Guzman 6.26

In my own experience, the rhetoric about Latinos often centers on negative stories concerning institutionalized racism, the need for better education and more opportunities. At OSF, the discussion about internal, company diversity is ongoing but my work within the Audience Development department has a decidedly positive spin to it. The work that we do is intended to show new audiences of color the value of the plays that OSF puts on. It doesn’t end there; we at Audience Development also contribute to scholarship funds for people of color and we are dedicated sponsors of community events with a cultural focus. The difference that I appreciate is the sense that we are not fighting a losing battle. Yes, we are facing an interesting challenge by marketing to groups that are not historically proven supporters of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival but by doing so we are embracing the need to change the perception of American communities. Oregon is not homogenous and as demographics continue to shift the need for a more diverse marketing strategy will persist. OSF productions offer a community building block, a shared point of interest for people with wildly different backgrounds, and I am happy that I get to be a part of the team that makes that possible.

It Started witn a Bang! from Regina Morones

In Audience Development, Internship, Regina Morones on June 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Regina Morones 6.19

My first day as a FAIR intern kicked off at the weekly FAIR Forum. It kind of felt like the first day at school—a mixture of excitement and anticipation to meet other fellow participants. I had a great time getting to know everyone over a delicious breakfast spread of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, biscuits and even chocolate cake! I found out later that this is not the usual weekly FAIR Forum. It was a special FAIR Forum to say goodbye to several of the directing fellows and interns that were leaving in the next couple of days.

Although it was great meeting them, I wish I had more time to hang out and get to know them better before they leave. Overall, the highlight of the day for me was meeting Carmen Morgan, OSF’s diversity and inclusion consultant, who talked to the group about her work with OSF building internal diversity and inclusive capacity as well as the many obstacles faced by people of color in the theatre industry. This really hit home for me because as a women of color pursuing acting in theatre as a career I have faced racism on many different levels. In order for change to happen we have to be comfortable being uncomfortable and initiate these conversations that expose the racial inequalities and biases prevalent among the theatre community.

Exploring Diversity: On a Personal Level from Kayo Jijina

In Company Management, Internship, Kayo Jijina on May 2, 2013 at 3:06 PM


Kayo Jijina

This is my second week as an intern with OSF under the auspices of the FAIR Apprentice program. OSF is a warm and friendly community; I feel welcomed and supported by everyone I meet. In addition to my responsibilities with the Company Management group, I am responsible for attending a FAIR Forum, which is held once a week from 9am to 12pm at OSF with other FAIR members.

The FAIR Forum, under the direction of Sharifa Johka, provides “enrichment activities… talks by company members and guests regarding their roles at OSF, other education events…” A few of the topics for discussion have included Terminology for Anti-Bias Language, OSF Audience Development Manifesto and Stages of Racial Identity Development.

I am encouraged by the level of discussions and sharing that has taken place in the FAIR Forum. I am beginning to gain a better understanding of OSF’s commitment to education, diversity and community outreach.

On a personal level these topics have provided me with an opportunity for self-reflection, a chance to face my own fears regarding these topics and a desire to know more about the rich heritage that inherently seems to follow me around everywhere I go.

My parents were both born in India, as were their parents and their parents before them going back I don’t know how many generations. Independently, my mother’s family and my father moved from India to Iran for work; they met and I was born. After my father passed away and we began searching through his reams and paperwork/ documents (as he never threw anything away) much to my surprise I found I had two birth certificates; one from Iran and a second from India. A year after my father passed away my cousin on my father’s side sent in a DNA sample and participated in National Geographic’s – “The Genographic Project.”

The results show my last name – Jijina is of Russian origin and traces our family origins to Ossetia, Georgia. For all of this to make some semblance of sense to me, I have come to the conclusion the trail I must follow is not one of geography but one of religion – it is the story of the Zoroastrians. Now some of the pieces of the puzzle may begin to come together for me and allow for a sharing.

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