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All the world's our stage

ABOUT MERELY PLAYERS

Merely Players is an actor-managed traveling Shakespeare company based in Corvallis, Oregon. We make collaborative theatre that can travel anywhere in the Central Willamette Valley. Our goal is to make the classic plays of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries as accessible, interactive, irreverent, fast-paced, and fun as they possibly can be. We accomplish this by going back to the basics – a small group of actors, sans sets, sans lights, sans modern theatrical bells and whistles, connecting on a deep and personal level with the audience, with each other, and with the playtexts themselves. 

Meet the Players

John Carone
Treasurer

John Carone (he/him) moved to Corvallis before he turned one, and he's stuck around ever since! Getting started in theater back in college with a single line in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," he has gone on to appear in OSU Theatre (including five Shakespeare plays), Albany Civic Theater (including four Shakespeare plays and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)), and the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis (including The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, and Wars of the Roses, a compilation of Shakespeare's Henry VI plays). He played the King in Merely Players’ Love’s Labour’s Lost, and also appeared in an earlier iteration of this troupe's productions of The Winter's Tale and the adaptation Blaming of the Shrew.

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Sanaya Forbes
Marketing Manager

Sanaya Forbes (she/her) was only cast as bit parts in high school Shakespeare and has become fueled by pure spite ever since. She holds BAs in both Theater and Cognitive Science from UC San Diego. She was a professional theater technician for a number of years but currently works as a corporate graphic designer so she has the time and money to just do this for fun. Recent credits include: Olympe De Gouges (The Revolutionists, Majestic Theatre) Hilda (The Thin Place, Majestic), Katarina (Blaming of the Shrew, Justice Theater), #25 (The Wolves, Majestic), Queen Margaret (War of the Roses, Majestic), Viola (Twelfth Night, Pentacle Theater), and Luceny (The Concealed Fancies, Majestic).

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Chad Howard
Videographer

Chad Howard (he/him) has been bonkers about the Bard since he was assigned to read the role of The Porter in his high school English class. He's performed alongside other members of this cast several times, and has enjoyed roles in productions of Comedy of Errors (twice!), The Winter's Tale, Blaming of the Shrew (an adaptation of Taming of the Shrew for Justice Theatre @ the UUFC) and “sweet and voluble” Berowne in last year's Merely Players production of Love's Labor's Lost. He would like to dedicate his performance of Hal in The Follies of Falstaff to his cat, Tortiellini.

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Rachel Kohler
Literary Manager

Rachel Kohler (she/her) has dreamed of being involved in a collaborative Shakespeare company ever since she completed her M.Litt / MFA in Shakespeare and Performance at Mary Baldwin University in association with the American Shakespeare Center. She's done a lot of Shakespeare at other companies in the meantime, acting in local community theatre initiatives like the Majestic Theatre, Valley Shakespeare, and Bard in the Quad, as well as serving as artistic director of the Shakespeare Time youth theatre company in Winston, Oregon (now defunct) and Justice Theatre @ the UUFC (now in its sixth year of operation) here in Corvallis. Adapting early modern playtexts for maximum resonance with modern audiences is her jam. Last year’s Merely Player’s season featured her playing the outrageously wordy Don Armado in a wheelchair with a broken leg, and as iconic as that performance ended up being, she’s excited to perform on her own two feet this summer. (The rest of the company has vowed to keep her from jumping in any lakes this year.)

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Britt Urey
Website Manager

Britt Urey (she/they) first heard the siren call of the stage at a 2001 production of H.M.S. Pinafore at the University of Michigan, with an autograph from Sir Joseph Porter enticing her to “come join us some day.” 19 years later they finally did, starting with online theater during the COVID-19 pandemic and graduating to stage performances the next year. Last year she portrayed Costard in Merely Players’ production of Love’s Labour’s, and other recent roles include Riff Raff (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Whiteside Theatre), Adrian (The Tempest, Majestic Theatre), and King Louis XI (Wars of the Roses, Majestic Theatre), as well as directing The Roaring Girl for Justice Theatre.

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