It was opening weekend for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival way down south in Ashland, and the streets, restaurants, coffee houses, and theatres were packed.
From first night hilarity with THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, to a somber but probing TWO TRAINS RUNNING, to a delightful MY FAIR LADY, and closing out with a small space KING LEAR, OSF came on strong and delivered a cracking invitation to yet another year of drama in America’s theatre festival capital.
This Rogue Valley southern Oregon town is like nowhere else in the land. It’s far removed from any major urban area, and has all the outdoor recreation benefits Oregonians expect from their lovely wild landscape.
And yet it is also home to one of the largest repertory theatres to be found anywhere in the world. On any given night, shows that you would usually have to travel to New York or London to see are available right here in the Pacific Northwest.
This indoor/outdoor combination is uniquely Oregon. Where else can you ski at Crater Lake, run trails in the mighty Siskiyou, or float down the Rogue – and then catch a big stage show the same day (after an incredible meal, of course)?
The answer is: Nowhere I know of.
And believe me, I’ve looked.
Aside from the shows, there were many interesting conversations about new plays, what it takes to build a state of the art theatre, and many, many other topics of interest to theatre folks.
Look for reviews, photos and other follow up soon.