Friday, January 5, 2018

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2018 Season

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, located in peaceful and scenic Ashland, Oregon, produces 11 plays in repertory each year from February to October. Only half are the works of Shakespeare, while the rest are a mixture of classic American plays, world premieres, and musicals that do justice to Shakespeare’s all-encompassing themes and love of language.

The town of Ashland boasts numerous quality restaurants with fresh ingredients, plenty of opportunities for a hike, and a thriving visual arts scene. It’s a perfect destination for a weeklong getaway.

Here are some of the most exciting plays of OSF’s 2018 season:

Othello (Directed by Bill Rauch)

Othello is the most cerebral and slow moving of Shakespeare’s most popular tragedies, observing Iago’s psychological torment of the proud and jealous Othello in uncomfortable detail. The 2018 production moves the play into the American military apparatus and casts Chris Butler as Othello and Danforth Comins as Iago.

Sense and Sensibility (Adapted by Kate Hamill, directed by Hana S. Sharif)

Kate Hamill’s adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel ran for over 265 performances off-Broadway and won several awards. Now, fellow Austen lover Hana S. Sharif directs the play, which features Kate Mulligan (Queen Elizabeth from last year’s Shakespeare in Love) as the formidable Mrs. Dashwood.

Destiny of Desire (By Karen Zacarías, directed by José Luis Valenzuela)

Destiny of Desire pays tribute to the beloved Mexican telenovela with a raucous musical comedy featuring twins separated at birth, conniving beauty queens, and other outlandish twists. OSF cornerstones Vilma Silva, Armando Durán, and Al Espinosa make up part of the play’s ensemble cast.

Henry V (Directed by Rosa Joshi)

Henry V completes the three-play cycle that OSF began last year with Henry IV part 1 and part 2. Daniel José Molina continues as Prince Hal – now a fully-fledged king – as he demonstrates his growth from a carefree party boy into a cold, practical ruler. Rosa Joshi, OSF newcomer and founder of the all-female theatre troupe upstart crow collective, directs.

The Book of Will (By Lauren Gunderson, directed by Christopher Liam Moore)

Lauren Gunderson, notable for her modern plays that twist familiar Shakespearean plots, examines the creation of Shakespeare’s First Folio in this lively dramedy directed by Ashland veteran Christopher Liam Moore. A group of Shakespeare’s friends and actors attempt to keep Shakespeare’s words accurate after his death in the face of pirated scripts of dubious accuracy.

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