In about two weeks, the curtain will close on another wonderful season of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland. Over the past two years, my wife and I have been among the 120,000 theatre lovers who annually flock to this charming Southern Oregon town for a weekend of delectable food, fine pinot noir & shopping – all interwoven by a wonderful blend of classic and contemporary plays.

With just two weeks left of the 2006 season, I recently e-mailed the communications team at the Shakespeare Festival for their impressions of this season and what to expect next season. Here’s what Amy Richard, the Media Relations Manager at the OSF had to say:

Amy, what has surprised you the most about the 2006 season?
We expected full houses for the outdoor productions (The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cyrano de Bergerac and The Two Gentlemen of Verona), but we didn’t anticipate that we’d have the enthusiastic response that we did in all three theaters. Tickets to a number of performances in the New Theatre and Angus Bowmer Theatre have not been easy to secure. Shakespeare’s King John is running at 94% of capacity (with two weeks to go) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is currently at 97%. That’s great!

What can audiences expect next year?
An entertaining mix of plays…four of Shakespeare’s greatest hits will be staged (As You Like It, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew & Romeo and Juliet), three comic classics (On the Razzle, The Cherry Orchard [yes, Chekhov called it a comedy!] and Tartuffe), and four dramatic contemporary plays (Rabbit Hole, Gem of the Ocean, Tracy’s Tiger [new musical!] and Distracted).

The festival recently named a new artistic director, Bill Rauch. What can you tell us about Mr. Rauch?
I can tell you that he’s a talented, passionate artist and a fabulous human being. Bill has directed five productions at OSF, and the company is thrilled (and I’m not exaggerating!) about what he will bring to OSF. People can read more about him at this link:

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And don’t forget this October; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and historic Ashland Springs Hotel have put together a one-of-a-kind package that allows you to experience Ashland’s “Oregon Bounty.” Also, check out Greg’s On the Road With Oregon Bounty segment from Southern Oregon here.

~ Cheers! Mo

about author Mo Sherifdeen

Mo is Travel Oregon's content publisher and loves to hike the forests and mountain trails of Oregon with his wife, daughter and dog. He is also known for getting lost inside a maze of books at Powell’s, sipping an IPA (or two) and seeking the best fish 'n chips along the Oregon Coast.

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