The Town is a Stage

Photo: T. Charles Erickson
Photo: T. Charles Erickson












Get ready to see new faces, listen to music booming from the green stage, taste local restaurants bringing out their A-game, and watch school buses line the side of Lithia park, because the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is returning.

OSF is a not for profit organization that thrives on the mission statement, “Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.”

Some OSF participants take this statement to heart. OSF trainee and SOU senior Samuel Wick said, “So there’s a little story about why I wanted to be an actor.” He continued, “there was a New York playwright who was trying to do well in New York but wasn’t having a lot of luck, and this playwright also loved what Mother Teresa was doing and would also hear stories about her work in Calcutta and all that stuff. And she saw at some point that Mother Teresa would be visiting New York, and so she kinda did some stalking and found out what hotel she’d be in. So she went and was able to bump into Mother Teresa, she said ‘I’m a big fan of your work and what you do is just wonderful,’ and mother Teresa asks ‘well what do you do?’”

Wick explained that the playwright humbly answered. Wick then said, “and here’s the thing, Mother Teresa said there’s a lot of different famine in the world. In my country there is a famine of the body, and in this country there is a famine of the spirit, so you should stay in here and feed your people that way.”

Wick reflected. “So I thought that’s really cool. I like to do theater because I want to help improve the spirit of people in the world and show plays that make them think about their choices in life and about other people’s actions and if they would make the same actions if they were in that situation and learn from that.”

OSF Social media and PR assistant Julia Cortez also believes in theater’s value. When talking about theatre’s longevity Cortez said, “it is amazing that we’re still doing that now, it’s just a way we can touch people, and get people to think, and get people to experience other people’s lives on stage. I think that’s true for somebody who’s writing 400 years ago like Shakespeare, that we can still be entertained by that, and still be moved all these years later. I think that speaks to kinda the importance of creating real art that lasts; real art that resonates through time regardless of when they lived or where they lived.”

For 80 years Ashland locals and tourist have gone to OSF. On Feb. 27 the festival that has become an Ashland tradition returns.

The 2015 OSF season runs until Nov. 1. Tickets prices for non OSF members range from $35-120 but students can get “rush” tickets one hour before a play for $15 dollars with student I.D. Tickets sell at the OSF box office on south Pioneer Street next to the first crosswalk on the OSF campus.