Oregon Shakespeare Festival looks to 2019

    "The Book of Will," featuring Ben Jonson (Daniel T. Parker) revealing his substantial eulogy to Richard Burbage, will be presented through Oct. 13 in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival campus in Ashland. Jenny Graham / OSF

    Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2019 playbill celebrates Shakespeare, classics and new plays, including two American Revolutions commissions and a pilot Community Visit Project that will take a bilingual Play on! translation Of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” into community venues throughout the region, and in an OSF theater later in the season.

    2019 will include changes to OSF’s production schedule. The season opening will be slightly later, and there will be earlier starts for some shows, including the three outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre productions.

    In the Angus Bowmer Theatre:

    Shakespeare’s, “As You Like It,” will be directed by Rosa Joshi, who will return after her OSF directorial debut of “Henry V.” Look for Rosalind and company in the Forest of Arden on a comedic journey laced with themes of female strength and empowerment, love and gender.

    Running all season alongside “As You Like It,” is “Hairspray,” the Broadway musical with a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by Marc Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman. A joyful affirmation of self-expression and one’s ability to turn dreams into reality, the 2002 Broadway production nabbed eight 2003 Tony Awards. Christopher Liam Moore will direct.

    Also running all season is the premiere of Octavio Solis’s “Mother Road,” directed by Bill Rauch. The play is inspired by John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” and finds hardworking and hard-living William Joad with no blood kin to pass the family farm down to. No one, that is, until he discovers an unexpected relation: Martín Jodes — a young Mexican-American man descended from Steinbeck’s protagonist Tom Joad.

    Paula Vogel’s “Indecent” — the first American Revolutions play to return home to its commissioning theater after lauded and award-winning productions across the country, including a Tony-nominated run on Broadway and a nationwide PBS Great Performances broadcast — will be directed by Shana Cooper.

    In the Thomas Theatre:

    Lauren Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band, directed by Chay Yew, is a comedy-mystery-rock concert hybrid which explores the legacy of the Khmer Rouge genocide.

    “Between Two Knees,” an American Revolutions co-commission with New Native Theatre by sketch comedy group the 1491s, directed by first-time OSF director Eric Ting, tells an intergenerational story of familial love, loss, connection ... and how life begins “between two knees.”

    “How to Catch Creation,” by Christina Anderson, is a poetic exploration of life and family. Nataki Garrett will direct.

    In the Allen Elizabethan Theatre:

    Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth” Mwill inaugurate the Allen Elizabethan Theatre season, directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, who helmed “Destiny of Desire.” While Valenzuela is well-known in the U.S. for directing Karen Zacarias’s subversive homage to the telenovela at many theaters, he’s a popular classics director in Europe.

    Also on the outdoor stage will be “Alice in Wonderland,” an adaptation by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus that honors Lewis Carroll’s classic text while introducing us to an Alice for the present day. OSF actor Sara Bruner will explore every nook and cranny of the stage as she takes audiences down the rabbit hole.

    Finally, Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well,” directed by Tracy Young, is a complex comedy of courtships, class, mistaken identities, pain, loss, war and love.

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