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Posts Tagged ‘Inclusion’

“Lucky” from Ciara Ayala

In Assistantship, Ciara Ayala, Stage Management on January 15, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Ciara Ayala 1.15a

So I’ve been up here in Oregon for about a week, and it is everything I wanted it to be and more. I wasn’t nervous, I was excited, which is not a foreign emotion for this girl 🙂 The past 4 years I’ve been saying “I’m so excited for the rest of my life!” day in and day out. There were moments when you wouldn’t hear those words for months at a time…but let’s be real, sophomore year is no easy feat. Now that chapter of my life is over, I am so incredibly grateful for the education I have earned. I owe so much to those who made me feel confident and comfortable going into one of the largest regional theatres in the nation.

I wanted to tell everyone the second I got here how absolutely overjoyed I was. Now that I’ve been here a week, I am still just as elated with every step I take. I have wanted to work with this theatre company since I was a freshman in college. With my first application, I was accepted with a job immediately following graduation. As if that wasn’t enough, I was put to work on COMEDY OF ERRORS set in the Harlem Renaissance (awesome, right?!). This is already such a fun, enriching project. Most are aware that a strong mission of OSF is cultural diversity and inclusion. Well, I couldn’t be happier. As I’ve gone from one experience to the next, I’ve realized how blissfully unaware I’ve been to race, or gender, my entire life. I truly never see the difference in someone until it’s addressed by themselves or another. We are all human, we are all capable. It’s beautiful to see such an array of body types, ethnicities, and equal representation of genders in the theatre. I’m so thankful to be in an industry that is constantly (at least attempting) to push the envelope. Not to mention how proud I am to be a part of a season that is primarily female playwrights!…aside from Billy Shakes… Well, enough of that for now. In short, I am absurdly lucky.

I will leave you with a Naomi Wallace quote relayed to the company via Artistic Director Bill Rauch:

“When we cross boundaries, when we violate our own skin to know the heartbreak or hope or resistance of another, what we come closer to, surprisingly, is ourselves. Because through imaginative empathy, we revive our own humanity. So, to put it simply, we must be where we are not, because if we look down we will see that we are already there, here, among those that we are encouraged to believe are strangers. Who suddenly are no longer strangers.”

Happy 2014, y’all

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“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

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.

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