July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 36

A STAGE FOR ALL
Setting the Scene
Before
beginning production of
the play, park and recreation staff
- along with the play's director,
Arlee Olson - knew they wanted
to engage a diverse group of actors
and crew members. " We started
doing a bunch of diversity work to
help bolster the cross-section of our
community because our community
was a lot more diverse than who
we were seeing on stage, and so we
wanted to make our environment
of the theater much more welcoming
to people of all backgrounds, "
says Rachel Kohler, cultural arts
and community engagement recreCorvallis
put together an
audition announcement
that encouraged people
of all ages, identities and
abilities to get involved.
ation coordinator for City of Corvallis.
" It's community theater. Every
part of the community should
be involved. "
Laurie Mason, a long-time volunteer
actor who played the character
Gonzalo in " The Tempest, "
says that hasn't always been a reality
in theater. " In a relatively short
time - 16 years that I've watched
theater change and adjust - we've
gone from just the opposite, " she
says. " If you wanted to be in a play,
you had to fit the part. There's just
no question about it.... It has not
been the norm to be able to say,
'I can be this person. I can be this
character. Don't tell me I have to
do it like this. Or, work with me at
least.' So, directors are having to
expand their views. "
According to Olson, the reason
she was drawn to directing " The
Tempest " is because what many
people saw as a story glorifying colonization,
she saw differently. " It
can be not about colonizer as hero,
but about colonizer as bad guy,
and the spirits and Caliban as really
being able to stand up and get
their own rights in the end as they
deserve, " she says. " That was my
take on this show. And thinking,
'Well, if it's about equal rights, it's
got to be about inclusion and many
different kinds of people need to
be included so that it is what I'm
claiming it's about.' "
In Corvallis, reimagining who is
invited to participate in the theater
began with putting together an audition
announcement that encouraged
people of all ages, identities
and abilities to get involved. " A lot
of work has been put into the audition
announcement, " says Christel
Birdwell, City of Corvallis cultural
arts and community engagement
supervisor. " Rachel has been a
big part of this, to make it much
36 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
more inclusive so it doesn't seem
like it's just trying to get one slice
of who we serve here in Corvallis,
but to really be open. Like, 'This
character can be played really by
anyone.' "
Kohler explains, " A couple of
years ago, we did a show that I
directed that I was super intentional
about making the cast as diverse
as possible. We got a ton of
gender-diverse people because my
audition announcement was like,
'Hey, I would like to cast people
of all genders and I will change
the pronouns to match whatever
pronouns you would like.' " She
also points out that this play's central
character, Richard III, is often
played by an able-bodied actor pretending
to have a disability. " So, we
put out there, 'We would prefer to
cast an actor who uses a mobility
device of any kind. We will figure
out the blocking.' We had a ton of
mobility-diverse actors come out
because of that audition announcement.
And then these people have
stayed.... It's a snowball effect with
making our casts more diverse, "
Kohler notes.
The Playbill
Thanks to the intentional outreach,
the staff and director were able to
recruit a cast and crew of approximately
60 people, each with their
own unique story and experience
to share with the group. About a
third of the cast members identified
as transgender - primarily the
younger actors, who volunteered
alongside many older adults. " The
older actors who have been here
for a long time - who do tend to
be white,
cisgendered people -
get to hang out with all of these
young, dynamic trans people, and
they learn a lot about pronouns,
and they learn a lot about gender
PHOTO BY SABRINA DEDEK/COURTESY OF CITY OF CORVALLIS (OREGON) PARKS AND RECREATION

July 2024 – Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2024 – Parks & Recreation

July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 7
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 8
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 9
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 10
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 11
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 12
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 13
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 14
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 15
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 16
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 17
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 22
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 23
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 24
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 25
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 26
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 27
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 28
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 29
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 30
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 31
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 32
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 33
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 34
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 35
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 36
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 37
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 38
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 39
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 40
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 41
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 42
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 43
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 44
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 45
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 46
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 47
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 48
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 49
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 50
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 51
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 52
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 53
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 54
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 55
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - 56
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2024 – Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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