Friday, February 24, 2017

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2017 Season

Each year, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, located in scenic Ashland, Oregon, produces 11 plays in repertory. About half of them are the works of Shakespeare, with the rest a mixture of world premieres, contemporary plays, older musicals, and shows by classic playwrights.

Ashland itself is a wonderful place for a vacation. A variety of quality restaurants with fresh ingredients, lots of nearby trails and parks, and a thriving visual arts scene make the town a favorite destination.

Here are some of the most exciting plays of OSF’s 2017 season:

Julius Caesar (Directed by Shana Cooper)

Julius Caesar was OSF’s flagship tragedy during their 2011 season, which used minimalist staging and audience participation to use the play as a metaphor for some of modern history’s most controversial leaders. Shana Cooper, also responsible for directing The Unfortunates, is in charge of the 2017 version, which looks like a more classical adaptation.

UniSon (by UNIVERSES, directed by Robert O’Hara)

UNIVERSES, the theatre troupe that previously created Party People for OSF, returns with an exploration of American master August Wilson’s unpublished poetry. This structure capitalizes on what UNIVERSES did best with Party People – creating profound, energetic explorations of movement, visuals, and language within a loose dramatic framework. UniSon may prove to be the most outlandish, and most interesting, contemporary play of the season.

The Odyssey (Directed by Mary Zimmerman)

Mary Zimmerman is best known for her beautiful stage adaptations of classic myths. This year, Zimmerman directs The Odyssey, one of the most famous Greek legends, which brought such things as the Cyclops, Circe the sorceress, and the island of the Lotus-Eaters into the popular consciousness. The action-packed and exciting story, combined with Zimmerman’s theatrical magic, makes The Odyssey a must-see performance.

Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (by Luis Alfaro, directed by Juliette Carrillo)

The classic Greek tragedy Medea is re-imagined through the lens of the Mexican-American immigrant experience in this work from Luis Alfaro, also known for his award-winning Oedipus el Rey.  Even for those familiar with Sophocles’ masterpiece, its new context – set in the modern day – will hit much closer to home emotionally than a classical adaptation.

Henry IV, Part One/Henry IV, Part Two (Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz/Carl Cofield)

Shakespeare’s historical duology about the youthful Prince Hal learning to become the king expected of him by his father, Henry IV, is always an ambitious undertaking. When OSF previously produced these plays (along with their sequel, Henry V), they split them up over three seasons; now, you have the opportunity to watch the epic tale of Hal’s growth over the course of a few days. Part Two doesn’t open until July, so keep that in mind when planning your schedule.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.