Sound trumpets, don costumes, roll out the red carpet, and marshal those troops. For the season, she approacheth.
That’s the 80th season at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, babycakes. And it all gets going in 52 days. Way down in the sunny south. Southern Oregon, that is.
From over hill and dale they come, theatre pilgrims on the way to mecca. Opening weekend at OSF is an annual ritual unlike anything else you have ever experienced. It is not to be missed. In a three day blitz of giddy energy and excitement, you’ll take in four shows, run into long lost friends from all corners of the globe, eat a lot of good food, and just maybe notch another Log Lady sighting on the Bricks (we can’t guarantee everything).
It’s always a high octane experience to watch close up as one of America’s great cultural treasures flips the on switch for another year. BAM! With a blast of light and volume rolling up the majestic lower flanks of the mighty Siskiyou mountains, the entire hamlet of Ashland announces to the world: “It is on, people! It is so on!”
And of course you can also get a world famous espresso shake (or three) at Rogue Valley Roasting over the course of the weekend – reason enough for a trip.
So be there.
Friday, February 27 thru Sunday, March 1. Ashland, Oregon, Earth, The Universe.
You know where it is.
For opening weekend 2011, Ashland wore her winter whites.
Bright lights, big drama. Down below the mighty Siskiyou in the Rogue Valley – Oregon’s crown jewel: OSF.
Much Ado about Nothing (February 20 – November 1) by William Shakespeare
In her debut at OSF, Lileana Blain-Cruz directs one of Shakespeare’s most beloved stories, featuring the witty and frustratingly endearing Beatrice and Benedick. Benedick has returned from war, along with his friend Claudio and the rest of Don Pedro’s army. They all land at the estate of Leonato, Beatrice’s uncle and father to Hero, whom Claudio hopes to wed.
But all is not well in this Shakespearean comedy, which Ms. Blain-Cruz describes as a contemporary love story that unfolds as soldiers deal with the demands of a return to civilian life. Not all is as it appears to be, and while Beatrice and Benedick exchange barbs to hide their mutual attraction for each other, Claudio, egged on by a malcontent, levels a shocking accusation against Hero. Everyone’s world is changed, but some semblance of order is restored when the plot is uncovered and Hero is saved by the linguistically challenged Dogberry and his sidekicks.
The cast features Christiana Clark as Beatrice, Danforth Comins as Benedick, Jack Willis as Leonato, Cristofer Jean as Don Pedro, Leah Anderson as Hero, Reynaldo Piniella as Claudio, Regan Linton as Don John, Barret O’Brien as Borachio/Ensemble, Armando McClain as Conrade/Ensemble, Allison Buck as Margaret/Ensemble, Robin Waisanen as Ursula/Ensemble, Rex Young as Dogberry/Ensemble, Tyrone Wilson as Friar/Ensemble, Eileen DeSandre as Verges, Lucas Caldwell as Seacole/Ensemble and Cesar Perez Rosas as Oatcake/Ensemble.
Scenic design is by Scott Bradley; costumes by Kara Harmon; lighting by Yi Zhao; music and sound by Chad Raines. Lydia G. Garcia is dramaturg; Susan Sweeney is voice & text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director; and Jill Rendall is stage manager.
Pericles (February 26–November 1) by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s first romance, Pericles, was last produced at OSF in 1999 and staged in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Joseph Haj (Henry V, 2012) will direct this production in the Thomas Theatre, where it will run the duration of the season.
This production will be based on Haj’s 2008 staging at PlayMakers Repertory Company, where he is producing artistic director. A new cast and a few new designers have joined Haj and members of the original design team to help recreate a similar vision in the new space. Haj describes Pericles as a “sophisticated and spiritual play,” which he feels needs a strong musical element. Composer Jack Herrick will refashion his score from the 2008 staging for this production.
Pericles is epic theatre, the story of the Prince of Tyre, who sets out to woo a princess but ends up in the midst of a harrowing adventure. He is pursued by an evil king, blown from port to port, finds the love of his life, then loses her and their infant daughter. But this is a romance, so the miraculous can and does happen, the lost are found and joyous reunions occur.
The cast features Wayne T. Carr as Pericles, Armando Durán as Gower/Ensemble, Brooke Parks as Thaisa/Dionyza/Ensemble, Scott Ripley as Antiochus/Simonides/Pandar/Ensemble, Jennie Greenberry as Marina/Antiochus’ Daughter/Ensemble, Michael J. Hume as Helicanus/Bawd/Ensemble, U. Jonathan Toppo as Thaliard/Boult/Ensemble, Emily Serdahl as Lychorida/Diana/Ensemble, Michael Gabriel Goodfriend as Lysimachus/Lord/Ensemble, Barzin Akhavan as Cleon/Cerimon/Ensemble, and Zlato Rizziolli, Samuel L. Wick and Cedric Lamar as Ensemble. Darcy Danielson is the musician.
The scenic designer is Jan Chambers, costumes are by Raquel Barreto, lighting by Rui Rita, music by Jack Herrick, sound design by Amadon Jaeger and video projections by Francesca Talenti. Rebecca Clark Carey is voice and text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director; Dawn Monique Williams is associate director; Gwen Turos is stage manager.
Guys and Dolls, a Musical Fable of Broadway (February 22 – November 1) Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser; Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows; based on a story and characters of Damon Runyon
Director Mary Zimmerman (The White Snake, 2012) returns to OSF to direct this classic 1950s musical based on stories by Damon Runyon. Accustomed to transforming ancient tales, Zimmerman feels she’s on familiar ground because Guys and Dolls has its own share of transformation and unexpected outcomes for its characters. Nathan Detroit runs the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York, and his fiancée, Adelaide, has been waiting 14 years to walk down the aisle with him. Nathan is not sure what to do with his own life, but he is gambling that a date between the high-rolling Sky Masterson and a straight-laced Salvation Army doll, Sarah Brown, might pay him big dividends. Yet it turns out that life and love throw some unexpected results to all of them.
The cast features Jeremy Peter Johnson as Sky Masterson, Rodney Gardiner as Nathan Detroit, Kate Hurster as Sarah Brown, Robin Goodrin Nordli as Miss Adelaide, Daniel T. Parker as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, David Kelly as Benny Southstreet, Joe Wegner as Rusty Charlie, Richard Howard as Arvide Abernathy, Tony DeBruno as Harry the Horse, Robert Vincent Frank as Lt. Brannigan, Richard Elmore as Big Jule, Al Espinosa as Angie the Ox, Eugene Ma as Joey Biltmore, Catherine E. Coulson as Gen. Matilda Cartwright and the following ensemble members: Briawna Jackson, Britney Simpson, Kristin Glaeser, Alyssa Birrer, Curtis Holland, Jonathan Luke Stevens.
Musicans are Michael Vannice, Gordon Greenley and Daryl Fjeldheim on woodwinds; Bruce Dresser, Mark Jacobs on brass; Bruce McKern on bass and Jim Malachi on drums.
Choreographer is Daniel Pelzig and music director is Doug Peck. Scenic design is by Daniel Ostling, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld; lighting by T.J. Gerckens; sound design by Ray Nardelli. Susan Sweeney is voice & text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director; and Jeremy Eisen is stage manager.
Fingersmith (February 21– July 9) by Alexa Junge, based on the novel by Sarah Waters
OSF is honored and delighted to present this world-premiere production in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Bill Rauch will direct, and as he noted in an interview about the play, the fact that playwright Alexa Junge proposed this adaptation and British novelist Sarah Waters agreed is a great gift to OSF.
The story is a theatrical page-turner set in a startling, vivid world of Victorian con artists and thieves. Pickpocket Sue Trinder has a simple task: cheat a gullible young heiress out of her fortune for a con man. But in this world nothing is what it seems, and the twisting story lands Sue in a stifling mansion, madhouses and squalid London streets.
The cast features Sara Bruner as Sue, Erica Sullivan as Maud, Elijah Alexander as Gentleman, Kate Mulligan as Mrs. Sucksby and in a number of roles; Peter Frechette, Terri McMahon, Nancy Rodriguez, K.T. Vogt, Peter Laughlin, Carlos N. Lopez, Bruce A. Young, Brent Hinkley, Moira Todd and Sofia Villareal.
Scenic design is by Christopher Acebo; costumes by Deborah M. Dryden; lighting by Alan Edwards; music and sound by Andre J. Pluess; and projections by Shawn Sagady and Daniel Cariño. Dramaturgs on the project are Lydia G. Garcia and Christopher Liam Moore; David Carey is voice & text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director; Mandy Younger and Karl Alphonso are stage managers.