Actors' Equity Association named Bill Rauch, Artistic Director of Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) as recipient of the Ivy Bethune Award at an award ceremony on January 23, 2018 in OSF’s Thomas Theatre.
The award recognizes individuals and organizations that show support for diversity and inclusion in the Western Region when it comes to hiring, casting and producing. Elected officials and staff from Equity's Western Region presented Rauch the award in person at the Theatre.
“Bill Rauch is a fearless advocate for social justice, dedicated to including all humanity in his work,” said Barbara Roberts, Second Vice Chair of Equity’s National EEO Committee. “He exemplifies equal opportunity in his hiring practices, engaging with storytellers from all walks of life. We’re thrilled to honor him with this year’s Ivy Award.”
Rauch, in his 11th season at OSF, said, “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by Actors’ Equity Association. Building on many decades of work by our predecessors, I accept this award on behalf of the entire company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and especially the many individuals across the organization who have demonstrated leadership in the essential work of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.”
Previously granted jointly with SAG-AFTRA, the Ivy Award is now given solely by Actors’ Equity Association. The Ivy Award recognizes theatre professionals, organizations and activists in the Western Region who have shown extraordinary support and encouragement of diversity, inclusion and social justice in their hiring practices, casting, storytelling, producing, directing, programming and advocacy. The Ivy Award is named in honor of actress and activist Ivy Bethune, a former Equity Councillor who has devoted more than 80 years of her life to civil rights activism and equal opportunity rights.
OSF has committed itself to the work of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both insights into the productions on stage and our relationships with each other. Through OSF’s efforts to increase racial representation onstage, the acting company is now approximately 70% people of color.