By Ryan J. Degan, Staff Writer
Theatre fans Rejoice! The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has returned on the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing for its 81st season.
“It’s another great mix of shows at OSF this season,” said OSF Associate Director of Communications, Eddie Wallace, “There’s truly something for every theatergoer – five Shakespeare plays, exciting world premieres, a classic musical, Gilbert and Sullivan done in a country-western style – I hope the SOU community has a chance to see them all!”
This year OSF will be showing 11 plays including 5 Shakespeare originals, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, Richard II, and Timon of Athens. The first batch of four shows released in the beginning of the season will include Twelfth Night, The River Bride, Great Expectations, followed by The Yeomen of the Guard. Previews for selected shows have already begun, but fear not as the season officially begins Friday Feb. 26 at 8 PM with the opening performance of Bill Shakespeare’s famous comedy Twelfth Night.
Following the OSF tradition of putting modern twists to old classics, Directed Christopher Liam Moore has transported patrons to 1930’s Hollywood “a glittering, aspirational metropolis full of romantics and eccentrics,” for the beloved comedy Twelfth Night (Feb 26-Oct. 30). “Twelfth Night is as close to a perfect play as has ever been written” says Moore. “The Hollywood setting is a great thematic match in terms of an era of reinvention of the self, which we see throughout Twelfth Night.”
Twelfth Night will be followed by Gilbert and Sullivan’s the Yeoman of the Guard (Feb. 27-Oct. 30) on Saturday Feb. 27 . The theatrical play, now set in the old West, will feature an interactive experience for play goers. Ashland will be the world premiere of this adaption by Sean Garney, Andra Velis Simon, and Matt Kahler.
Great Expectations (Feb. 27 – Oct. 30) will also open for viewers on Feb 27. Charles Dickon’s epic adventures of the orphan boy Pip, will feature the classic themes of friendship, love, generosity, and the real cost of revenge. Great Expectations will be co-directed by the plays adapters Penny Metropulos and Linda Alper.
Last but not least comes the world premiere of Marisela Trevino Orta’s The River Bride (Feb. 28- July 7). It follows Helena, a girl jealous of her sister Belmira’s wedding to a man who should have been hers. Three days before the wedding a mysterious stranger is pulled out of the river, who offers both sisters a new and dangerous path for the future. A retelling of Amazon folklore, the River Bride is a “heartrending tale of love, grudges, transformation, and the ever-present river, giving and taking away.”
Discount ticket deals for OSF include:
Student Rush Tickets
Special $15 “rush” tickets for student audiences one hour before designated shows. Please present valid student ID at OSF Box Office window. One ticket per student ID. No pre-purchase available. Check with Box Office on day of show for ticket availability.
The 19.35 Program
Special $25 tickets for young adults ages 19–35. Sign up to receive weekly emails that offer selected performances for $25 per ticket. Be sure to include your year of birth when registering. (Over-35 readers can sign up for Weekly Web Special emails.)
OSF has been kind enough to allow Siskiyou reporters to come in and review select shows over the next season so look for many more articles on OSF plays and events here!
For a full list of all the plays coming to Ashland check out the list here.