I met with Oregon Stage Works Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Horton and Marketing Director DW Wood last week at their A Street office. We talked about the response to theater company’s latest play, “The Nerd,” and I was surprised to learn OSW is searching for people to fill interesting volunteer positions.
EH: How are the audiences for “The Nerd”?
BH: We were so pleasantly surprised this week. They are very, very good.
EH: Why is it, do you think?
BH: It’s a funny play. Doug Rowe has a good reputation for directing good plays. It’s a combination of quite a few things. I think people want a little more laughter in their life.
EH: What kinds of volunteers would you like to recruit for your organization?
BH: Office staff, costumes, props”¦
DW: Because we are a hands-on theater, there are a lot of things to do. A lot of times we serve as a training ground for those who get hired at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If someone has an interest in production, marketing or customer services, we can work with them. We try to match a person’s interest and abilities with a volunteer opportunity for them.
We are a very active theater. There is always a Main Stage production going on; and then we have the Ashland Children’s Theater productions. The Playwrights Unit has performances from time to time, too, so we have a lot of opportunities. If someone wanted to learn props or be introduced to costumes, we have plenty of opportunities.
EH: Are there any interesting volunteer positions?
BH: Lighting, set building and sound design; we have a few great guys, but they could probably use help.
EH: How many volunteers do you have now?
DW: We have a core of about 25, which branches out to about 50, who are in and out. We would love to have 100, and we could use them.
EH: You have a 94-seat theater. Including all of the actors and all of the production people, how many participants are involved in Oregon Stage Works?
BH: One thousand participate in just the productions, without the support of volunteer staff. And then you have two paid staff. Less than 10 get a minimal stipend; those are the directors, lighting designers, set designers and stage managers.
DW: We are a developing theater. A big part of what we do is developing new works.
EH: Are there any kinds of donations that you especially need, besides money?
DW: We could use office-type things: file cabinets, paper clips, and computers. Anything that you think a theater might be able to use, for example, stage lights and lighting boards. We are so bare; we could use just about any type of thing.
EH: You are a tax exempt organization?
BH: We are a 501(c)3, a nonprofit organization. That is the designation. We can give a receipt for anything.
EH: Even if it is a file cabinet or a refrigerator?
Then Peter Alzado, OSW’s producing artistic director, weighed in on the subject.
PA: Many of our key positions at Oregon Stage Works are helmed by people with professional backgrounds working to develop OSW into our region’s premiere intimate theater. In order to continue this development and to support the continuous educational and cultural activity that OSW brings to our community, we need more volunteers.
Barbara Horton, DW Wood, and Peter Alzado can be contacted at 482-2334 andwww.oregonstageworks.net. “The Nerd” plays through April 26 at Oregon Stage Works, 191 A St. Tickets can be purchased at oregonstageworks.net or by calling 482-2334.