Toni Lovaglia, Oregon Shakespeare Festival costume shop manager, holds some of the stolen costumes that were returned anonymously Wednesday. The two she is holding are worn by Harold Hill in 'The Music Man.' Jim Craven - Jim Craven

Festival gets its costumes back

ASHLAND — One-of-a-kind costumes worth about $5,000 that were stolen from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival have been returned.

The festival box office received an anonymous phone call at about 5 p.m. Wednesday that the costumes could be found in the first floor of the New Theatre parking garage.

Festival officials checked out the tip and "there they were, lo and behold," said Amy Richard, OSF spokeswoman. Included were several other items the festival hadn't yet realized were stolen.

"We're thrilled to have them back. We are so, so happy," said Bill Rauch, artistic director.

Among the stolen items were hats and coats from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" and Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man," both set to open the weekend of Feb. 20.

"It was scary for what was going to happen to the shows," Rauch said. Everyone at OSF, from the costume artists who made the items to the actors who will wear them, were relieved to have them back, he said. Technical and dress rehearsals will continue as scheduled.

OSF officials declined to speculate on who may have taken the items. "We're just grateful to have the things," said Rauch.

"It's an affirmation of our relationship to the community and those who brought them back," he said.

Ashland police said in a press release that the items were valued at about $5,000.

The thieves apparently entered through a window and stole the items sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, festival officials said.

"We thought the costume shop was secure enough before this," Rauch said. "We'll make the building more secure."

Among the stolen items were two of Professor Harold Hill's jackets, an Indian dress, a constable's jacket, a gray straw "boater" hat, a Panama hat, two black band-member hats and a Wells Fargo cowboy hat from "Music Man," and a uniform jacket, wool overcoat, brown leather jacket, suede jacket and a black military-style wool overcoat from "Macbeth."

The two shows will be ready to preview at the originally scheduled times, "Macbeth" on Feb. 13 and "The Music Man" on Feb. 15.

No further investigation into who took the items will be pursued by OSF, according to Richard.

Reach Southern Oregon University intern Johanna Thompson at 776-4464 or at

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