Life is Short…Dream Big!

Founder Carmen Dowell has had a love for acting since she was a little girl. She has been on stage and back stage for many years in Cottage Grove. In 2008, she started volunteering with the local Special Olympics program. As of today, she is the Co-Local Program Coordinator for all of Cottage Grove and Creswell.  She has a strong empathy for her athletes and didn’t hesitate when The Opal Center offered her the chance to direct a play.  Her athletes are now known as her actors.

“It gives me great pleasure to help my athlete/actors’ dreams come true. I have come to realize that a disability doesn’t  disable a person from performing. By developing techniques working and befriending people with different abilities for the past 28 years I have adapted to the different learning abilities of the actors, I have found that this helps them to be successful on and off stage.   ” ~ Carmen Dowell


When I Found this giant hula hoop back stage I knew that If  I attached rolls of tablecloth to it a Beautiful Circus tent would evolve. Some didn’t see my vision and that was okay. They put trust in me and my vision and in the end were amazed! Thank you to Peter, Bill & Dylan for helping me make my stage come alive.  If you ever have a vision don’t let anyone doubt you.

Once again I find my mind racing with ideas when it came to designing a “Time Machine” for our play, “Somewhere in Time.” Would you believe if I told you that Mr. Time Machine was 100% made out of recycled items from my garage, Mecca, my son’s bedroom (he rides bikes), and cut up two liter bottles. People ask me how I think of these things, the only answer I can give you is there are many voices in my head telling me what to do, Somedays it’s a curse others it’s a blessing.