Actors' Equity Association named Bill Rauch, artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, as recipient of the Ivy Bethune Award at a ceremony Tuesday in OSF’s Thomas Theatre.
The award recognizes individuals and organizations that show support for diversity and inclusion when it comes to hiring, casting and producing, according to an OSF media release. The award was presented by elected officials and staff from Equity's western region.
“Bill Rauch is a fearless advocate for social justice, dedicated to including all humanity in his work,” said Barbara Roberts, second vice chairwoman of Equity’s National EEO Committee. “He exemplifies equal opportunity in his hiring practices, engaging with storytellers from all walks of life."
Rauch, in his 11th season at OSF, said, “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.”
The Ivy Award is named in honor of actress and activist Ivy Bethune, a former Equity councilor who has devoted more than 80 years of her life to civil rights activism and equal opportunity rights.
Through OSF’s efforts to increase racial representation onstage, the acting company is now approximately 70 percent people of color, the release said.