Staging ODAG

by Oberlin Drama at Grafton

Impact Area: Arts, Education, Society

Campus Area: Arts and Sciences, Student Life, Other


Funding for this Project ended on 2016-05-01

$6,261

Raised out of $2,500

107

Funders

0

Days Remaining

How will your project impact Oberlin?

Oberlin Drama at Grafton (ODAG) bears the name OBERLIN first in its title because of its strong affiliation with Oberlin College. ODAG is a prison theatre program located at Grafton Reintegration Center, a state men's prison located in Grafton, Ohio. The theatrical work of ODAG makes a significant contribution to student learning and Oberlin's goals of social justice, social change, and transformation through art and education. Dr. Phyllis Gorfain, Professor of English, Emerita, directs the program and is assisted by 11 Oberlin students and one Oberlin graduate.

Student participation and education have been at the heart of ODAG's accomplishments and mission. Under Prof. Gorfain’s leadership, student assistant directors analyze the scripts closely, work out blocking details, character motivations, use of props, set design, costume, concept, and other aspects of rehearsals. They also consult on group dynamics and share in probing discussions with the incarcerated actors about the moral, political, spiritual, psychological, social, and personal issues that the plays inspire. The processes of collaboration, discovery, and negotiation of differences provide a laboratory for profound intellectual and personal growth for both students and actors.

With every performance ODAG has achieved greater impact, and the need for improved visibility of the actors on a raised stage has become very evident. The portable staging system we wish to purchase includes a modular stage, storage carts, and a backdrop curtain, at a total cost of $18,000. Leadership and foundation gifts have brought us close to this goal, and if we can raise $2,500 during April we will be able to order the system. We hope you will consider a donation to our project. It will help inspire the men who are stepping onto another stage of their lives.

Remarks from student volunteers:

  • Lillian White ’16, a four-year member of ODAG: “Several of the men have said that performing ‘takes them out of prison’ for a short time, and that when outside audiences come in the men are seen first and foremost as actors, not as convicts. Theatre opens a door for people to share, to be seen, and to make emotional connections that both highlight and ultimately transcend each person’s unique experiences. I’ve never seen that demonstrated more profoundly than at ODAG.”
  • Katherine Early ’16, a four-year member of ODAG: “The work of the ODAG ensemble to assert their own humanity through portraying characters onstage is incredibly powerful.”
  • Sophia Becker ’15, who participated in ODAG for two semesters: “Together ODAG has transformed the Grafton Reintegration Center Visiting Room into a laboratory for artistic performance and creative expression.”
  • Isabel McKnight, ’15, a three-year member of ODAG, has said that the experience with ODAG was one of the most powerful educational experiences of her career and has shaped her decision to pursue law school. 
  • Tekikki Walker, ‘12, a current member of ODAG, believes art is a healing tool that allows one to transform and transmute past experiences into something positive and meaningful. 
Visit us at: www.graftondrama.com
Twitter & Facebook: @odag_media & @oberlindramaatgrafton

*Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Metzger and the Morning Journal.

  • avatar-male
    Dr. Phyllis Gorfain

    Founder and Artistic Director

    Phyllis is a retired Professor of English and directs the prison theatre program, Oberlin Drama at Grafton (ODAG).

  • avatar-male
    Dr. Bruce Richards

    Media Director

    Bruce is a retired Professor of Physics at Oberlin College.

  • avatar-male
    Isabel Canfield

    Arts Administrative Intern

    A second-year, Philosophy major at Oberlin College.

  • avatar-male
    Tekikki Walker

    Arts Administrative Intern

    Tekikki Walker is currently an Arts Administrative Intern for Oberlin Drama at Grafton. She is a graduate of Oberlin College (2012) and a recent graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art (2015) in Michigan.

$ 25

Lynn C Powell

$ 50

Susan Richards Toler

Hope this helps! Know it's a great program considering the people involved!!! Shandra and Ron

$ 300

Judith Gorfain

I am more than happy to support this project. Your work is so important.

$ 100

Anonymous

Proof of the importance of arts everywhere in every place.

$ 5

Jourdan M Lewanda

$ 50

Katherine B. Linehan

What a gift YOU all are giving to both the actors and audience!! Many thanks.

$ 25

Stefanie M Fertitta

Congrats Phyllis!

$ 50

Diane E Kenty

This is a wonderful project! Congrats on your fundraising success and future plays. - Diane

$ 50

Jeffrey S Pence

$ 50

Anonymous

$ 150

Wendy Kozol

$ 50

ANN L FULLER

$ 50

Carol S Tufts

$ 100

Josh M Aerie

What a wonderful, inspiring program! Best of luck! --Josh & Melissa

$ 20

Alan Boyd

$ 25

Anonymous

$ 100

Grover A Zinn Jr

This is a terrific project, Phyllis. It clearly makes a difference in lives!

$ 60

Knut Aagaard

Phyllis and Bruce, we're so glad for your persistence and success! Best wishes, Ann and Knut

$ 50

Anonymous

This is a beautiful and deeply humane project.

$ 25

Sharon and Marc Blecher

$ 25

Jeremy Richards

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, Once more!

$ 50

Anonymous

$ 100

Constance O Goldberg

Wonderful project!!

$ 50

Albert G. Miller

$ 50

Gretchen Richards

Great to know this program is going strong!

$ 50

Michael L Goldberg

$ 25

Andrew D Deppe

$ 50

Suzanne M Gay

$ 25

Kristin L Peterson

$ 50

Kristina Mani

An inspiring initiative - thanks to all involved for their hard work!

$ 25

Mari Kuroda

$ 25

Anne F. Hatch

Wonderful Project. Should be replicated nationwide!

$ 15

Lenore Benjamin

Wonderful program. Lenore

$ 50

Michael K Richards

Congratulations for the ongoing success of this amazing project!!

$ 36

Linda Lipkin

Keep up the fabulous work, Phyll -- and company! Also -- Phyll: if you haven't connected with him yet, you should know about the work of Stephan Wolfert with Bedlam Theater Company. http://howlround.com/authors/stephan-wolfert XXX Linda

$ 35

Roderic Knight

Glad to help with this great project!

$ 50

Joanne Busiel

A thrilling project! ODAG will rise to new heights in many ways. Think of the team often and send heartfelt support.

$ 250

Pattie B White

This program -- and your leadership of it -- has meant so much to our daughter Lillian. We can't wait to see the new show!

$ 100

Robert and Barbara Pierce

$ 350

Anonymous

$ 50

William L Byerly

Great project! This is the what should be happening in correctional institutions.

$ 100

David Friedland

$ 50

Karen hsin

$ 100

L Morgan Barry

Such a wonderful project! Wish we could see one of the productions! Love, Morgan & Bill

$ 100

Anonymous

$ 50

Norman C. Craig

$ 35

Alexis Macnab

$ 50

Adrian S Costello

$ 50

Dennis R Cook

Think about lighting.

$ 20

R Anne Richards

Keep up the GREAT work!

$ 100

Eleanor V Armitage

This is a fantastic project which Phyllis and Bruce have brought to life and I am glad to support something that is truly making a difference in people's lives.

$ 20

Timothy Ng

$ 25

Alana Kelley

$ 25

Gail Wood

$ 50

Olivia Ambrogio

$ 25

Cynthia Frantz

$ 25

Wendy B Hyman

$ 50

Jody L. Kerchner

I continue to be inspired by your work with ODAG. You are changing lives! Congratulations!!! Jody & Mark

$ 25

Lee Fertitta

$ 100

John D Lesser

Thanks for including us in this project. Hope we can get together sometime. Dave & Rosemary

$ 30

John D Lesser

Good luck!!!

$ 10

Anonymous

$ 10

Nancy D. McClusky

$ 20

Anonymous

$ 100

Jiann I Lin

$ 50

ANDREA M JOHNSON

$ 100

Sally K Fessler

So happy to support this wonderful program!

$ 100

Arlene Smith

Great performances ahead!

$ 25

Grace Kiriakos

$ 25

Teresa Lee Fowler

A great program we believe in!

$ 100

Lisa G Crawford

$ 10

Skyler Dees

Excited to see the show on May 15th.

$ 35

Anonymous

$ 50

Anonymous

$ 25

Anonymous

$ 100

Sara Tolchinsky

To my ODAG family: I can't wait for you to have a professional stage! Love, ChaCha

$ 30

Ben Jones

$ 25

Anonymous

$ 25

Steven Friedland

$ 100

Mary K. Van Nortwick

We are so impressed with the work ODAG is doing!

$ 25

Myrna Lubin

Wonderful project, Phyllis. So happy to support this. Myrna

$ 100

Kay M. Knight

$ 20

Susan A. Gelman

What a wonderful program!

$ 100

Dina Schoonmaker

Good Luck!

$ 50

ACH User

Your work is awesome, and I am glad to have this opportunity contribute a token of my moral support!

$ 25

Debbi Walsh

wonderful program!

$ 200

Philip L Pritchett

$ 100

John L Mitchell,Sr

$ 50

J Scott Richards

Hi Bruce and Phil Best, Scott and Sue

$ 20

Alison Ricker

$ 25

mary c nelson

$ 50

Anonymous

$ 75

R Peter Richards

$ 200

Cynthia Carroll

Please keep up the good work, all!

$ 50

Kevin R Cole

Good Luck and God Bless - Kevin

$ 20

Johanna L Dorn

Studying Shakespeare with Prof. Gorfain is a profoundly special experience, what a worthwhile project!

$ 25

Matthew Elrod

$ 30

Anonymous

$ 50

Anonymous

Best wishes, Yumi and Stephen

$ 25

Walter H Richards

$ 25

Phyllis Gorfain

Stepping up!

$ 100

David G Kamitsuka

$ 35

Eunjung G An

Hello, Phyll and Bruce! So happy to see you in this way. Take good care, Grace

$ 10

Louise White

$ 50

Jane Mathison

$ 25

Walter B Richards

$ 10

Tekikki S Walker

Go ODAG

Staging ODAG

March 31, 2016

Many, many thanks to our recent donors. Amazing!

Staging ODAG

April 4, 2016

Amazing! Staging ODAG has reached the 4K which is well above our intended goal. Many thanks to our incredible donors. Your continued support of ODAG is phenomenal and truly valued.

Last Week

April 25, 2016

It's the last week of "Staging ODAG." Please be sure that, before Saturday, April 30, you join "Staging ODAG" with that gift you have been thinking about, if you have't done so yet. We are so pleased to announce that ODAG's crowd funding efforts have been an enormous success so far and we will continue to benefit from your generosity. For example, your gift can help ODAG reimburse student volunteers for their mileage when driving to the prison. Up to now, we haven't helped students with that expense. We will also use these wonderful gifts to purchase far better scripts for the men. Up to now we had to rely on the cheapest published versions of Shakespeare's play (such as the Dover Thrift editions with no notes, no glosses on terms, no introduction, commentary, or history). This campaign has shown the men of ODAG how fully supported they are by those who believe in their work. One of the men of ODAG has said, "The supporters are not giving money to ODAG, they are investing in our futures that they know can be better because we are in ODAG." Please know that you are helping the ODAG men realize that they are not just playacting actors in plays, but also effective actors in the high drama of actually changing prison and society. Thank You, ODAG

Staging ODAG

April 2, 2016

Great News: "Stading ODAG" has done exceptionally well since launch. We are just $65 short of reaching our goal of $2500. Although we may reach our goals earlier than expected, our Crowdfunding site will remain open for 29 days. Your continued support and gifts will allow ODAG to purchase additional materials such as customizable legs that will adjust the stage at various heights for a given performance. ODAG's new stage serves as a new platform for its actors, but it will also be shared with the newest Oberlin program at the Grafton Reintegration Center, Oberlin Music at Grafton (OMAG). Your donations will not only help ODAG to fulfill its goals, but it will help other amazing programs like OMAG to prosper.

Goal Reached

April 2, 2016

Incredible! In just TWO days, we reached our goal of $2500. We even managed to raise more than expected, thanks to the generous support of our donors. Although we've reached our goal, Staging ODAG's crowdfunding site will remain open for 29 days. All additional gifts made during that time will be used to purchase customizable legs that will allow the stage to be adjusted at various heights for a given performance. Please know, that your continued support is greatly appreciated! Many thanks, ODAG

Halfway Point

April 16, 2016

At the halfway point in April, here is a report on the status of the “Staging ODAG” crowd-funding campaign:


If you have already made a contribution, ODAG extends a great thank you for your generosity. We have been stunned and humbled by the outpouring of your support that enabled us to reach our goal in only a few days. All of the components of the basic portable stage system have now been ordered! We look forward to thanking each of you individually.


If you are still considering a contribution, please know that additional funds are welcome and will be put to good use. They will permit us to order accessories for the stage that will enhance the flexible ways its components can be used by ODAG and other volunteer groups at the prison. Further contributions will also be used to help with the general operating expenses of the program such as the cost of scripts, costumes and props, and also reimbursing student volunteers for the cost of their travels to the prison.


So, thank you and please continue to share “Staging ODAG” with your friends and family.

http://crowdfund.oberlin.edu/campaign/detail/4357


Thank you,
ODAG

Staging ODAG

April 1, 2016

ODAG wants to extend a great thanks to our recent donors. Please know that all of this is possible because of your wonderful donations and support. We've managed to raise over $1600 of our $2500 in just ONE day! There are still 30 days left. Your support will help us to reach our goal within no time.

Incredible!