Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Established in 1935 by actor and educator Angus Bowmer, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is one of the oldest and largest theatres in the United States, with a 38-week season of eleven productions running from February to November and annual attendance exceeding 400,000. Producing plays in rotating repertory is the company’s hallmark. Nine productions run concurrently, and as many as five different plays are performed in a single day: Shakespeare, classic and contemporary plays, new work, musicals and music-infused work, and stories from outside the Western canon. In 2014, a resident company of 100 actors and 450 other artists and artisans presents 800 performances. OSF operates three venues – the 1,200-seat open-air Allen Elizabethan Theatre, 600-seat Angus Bowmer Theatre and flexible, 274- to 360-seat Thomas Theatre – in Ashland, Oregon, 15 miles north of the California/Oregon border. Recent national recognition includes the Broadway premiere and Tony Award for ALL THE WAY, which was commissioned by and premiered at OSF, the inaugural Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, the Steinberg and Horton Foote awards for new American plays, and a Grammy nomination for the 2012 audio recording of HAMLET. With Shakespeare for a New Generation support, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents 312 performances of six Shakespeare plays: The Tempest, The Comedy of Errors, Richard III, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Much Ado About Nothing, and Pericles, plus related classroom curricula and actor workshops, post-show discussions, tours, Prologues and teacher training classes for underserved schools in Oregon and California.
For Shakespeare in American Communities, Oregon Shakespeare Festival will present student matinees of The Comedy of Errors directed by Kent Gash, Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, Richard III directed by James Bundy, The Tempest directed by Tony Taccone, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The company will provide related educational activities, including workshops, backstage tours, prologues, post-show discussions, and teacher training. They anticipate reaching 18 schools from California, Oregon, and Washington.