Alper performs at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland as Ranevskaya in “The Cherry Orchard.” - photo: Owen Carey

OSF actress brings the Bard to China

Oregon Shakespeare Festival actress Linda Alper has received a Fulbright Scholar grant and will be teaching and directing in China for the coming academic year.

Alper, who will be gone for 10 months, is being hosted by Soochow University in the city of Taipei. A 23-year OSF veteran, she will be working mainly with juniors and seniors who are majoring in English or theater.

"For the English majors, they're at the level where they're ready to work on something like Shakespeare," Alper said.

Shakespearean language may be more challenging for the theater majors. Alper said Chinese theater companies perform The Bard's plays, often in Chinese or as Chinese opera.

The Fulbright Program, an international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between Americans and the people of other countries.

"The program is really great," Alper said. "You go as a cultural ambassador. Art and literature are great bridges between cultures."

Alper and her husband will both go to China. They are taking Chinese lessons in preparation for the trip. Alper's husband has been hired to teach at a university.

The couple's daughter is living in China.

In 2009, Alper was a guest lecturer, acting teacher and director at three universities in China.

A published author of young adult novels, Alper is fluent in Italian and has translated Italian pieces into English plays for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

She has appeared in more than 50 OSF plays and co-wrote five adaptations and/or translations. This year, Alper performed at Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland as Randy Osteen in "Superior Donuts" and as Ranevskaya in "The Cherry Orchard."

Ashland Daily Tidings reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or

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