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Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2017 Season

Celebrating 82 years

Our intent in posting these reviews (see below) is to provide insight to the OSF productions. Hopefully this will help our guests when making decisions on what plays to see when visiting Ashland.  Keep in mind that these reviews are unavoidably biased even though based in our own theatrical knowledge and lifelong experiences of attending plays, and Corbet's Theater Arts background. Enjoy and see you at the theater.

Don't forget to visit the Oregon Shakespeare Company's website (www.osfashland.org) for more information, cast lists and video clips relating to the OSF 2017 Season's plays.

 Julius Caesar 

  • February 17 - October 29, 2017      
  • Angus Bowmer Theatre      
  • By William Shakespeare | Directed by Shana Cooper
Was Julius Caesar a tyrant, unstoppable in his desire to acquire power, or the victim of self-image, imposed by an adoring, yet unfailingly fickle public? Launching OSF's 82nd season, Shana Cooper's creatively deft direction breathes new and relevant life into this powerhouse production, transforming it into a timeless treatise on the consequence of perception and its impact on man's never-ending thirst for power. The uniformly stellar cast performs on a stark, deconstructing stage, creating an almost ritualistic dance throughout the play to provoke awe-inspiring moments of shock, anger, bewilderment, regret, and ultimately, contemplation. Once again, this entire production has put every theatrical element to exemplary purpose, offering a benchmark that's a revelation and should not be missed!

Shakespeare in Love 

  • February 18 - October 29, 2017 
  • Angus Bowmer Theatre   
  • Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard | Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall | U.S. Premiere
 How can a much-loved - even iconic - film of the late 20th century be transformed into a stage play of equal measure? In the words of Tom Stoppard, "It's a mystery." And yet, surprisingly, it has been done to great effect this year on the OSF stage. Sparsely staged, yet fully realized and breathtakingly sumptuous, the production is just about everything you loved about the film - with a few changes and a slightly different tilt. Christopher Liam Moore's reliably inventive direction has created something that will, at once, evoke fond memory, while transforming it into something entirely new and unique. Although occasionally a little too overcrowded, the stage is filled with some of the most remarkably entertaining characters, lead by William DeMeritt (an exciting new talent on the OSF stage) in the title role and the equally talented Jamie Ann Romero as Viola de Lesseps. With all this said (or written, as the case may be), it would, indeed, be a mystery if one chose to miss this delightful offering.

 Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles 

  • February 19 - July 6, 2017
  • Angus Bowmer Theatre 
  • By Luis Alfaro | Directed by Juliette Carrillo
Setting one of the world's great Greek tragedies in the barrio of contemporary Los Angeles may not, at first, appear to be a good fit. Yet, mapping all too current themes of immigration, integration, assimilation, achievement and success against the timeless elements of identity, love, honor, betrayal and revenge works in surprising and shocking ways in Luis Alfaro's current, albeit somewhat unevenly structured, offering on the OSF stage. In the title role, Sabina Zuniga Varela, gives a exemplary, multi-layered performance that is, at once, immediate and present, while riding the ritualistic undercurrent of cultural heritage. Supported by an equally strong cast, the entire production, under Juliette Carrillo's solid direction, is both poetic and, at times, painfully misanthropic, treading with all deliberation on a road of increasingly unbearable dread.

Henry IV, Part One 

  • February 22 - October 28, 2017  
  • Thomas Theatre  
  • By William Shakespeare | Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
 The second part of Shakespeare's Hollow Crown sequence picks up this year where 2016's Richard II left off: on the stage of the Thomas Theater with England suffering political unrest under a new king. However, while this production evokes elements of last year's outstanding presentation, this contemporary vision of Henry IV, Part One is something completely different. Staged in the round, Lileana Blain-Cruz's direction and gender-blind casting has created a Henry that feels more immediate and relevant, clearly marking the transformation of young Prince Hal from defiant, rebellious youth to the man who will become one of England's most beloved leaders, King Henry V. Giving a performance that only makes this writer excited to continue watching that transformation, Daniel José Molina is at the top of his form. But it's G. Valmont Thomas who clearly stands out as Sir John Falstaff, arguably giving the best interpretation of this beloved character you're likely to experience. Presented by a uniformly amazing cast, the play is contained by a creatively minimalist design which serves to make us realize why Shakespeare's history plays, for all their mundane intrigue and warfare, continue to engage and provoke - the words.  

Hannah and the Dread Gazebo

  • March 29 - October 28, 2017 
  • Thomas Theatre      
  • By Jiehae Park | Directed by Chay Yew | World Premiere
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

 August wilson's poetry in UniSon

  • April 19 - October 28, 2017
  • Angus Bowmer Theatre
  • A new musical by UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz-a.k.a Ninja), in association with Constanza Romero | Directed by Robert O'Hara | World Premiere
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

  • June 6 - October 13, 2017  
  • Allen Elizabethan Theatre   
  • By William Shakespeare | Directed by Dawn Monique Williams
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

The Odyssey 

  • June 7 - October 14, 2017     
  • Allen Elizabethan Theatre       
  • By Homer | Adapted by Mary Zimmerman | from the translation by Robert Fitzgerald | Directed by Mary Zimmerman
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast 

  • June 8 - October 15, 2017    
  • Allen Elizabethan Theatre     
  • Music by Alan Menken | Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice | Book by Linda Woolverton | Directed by Eric Tucker
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

Henry IV, Part Two

  • July 4 - October 29, 2017  
  • Thomas Theatre 
  • By William Shakespeare | Directed by Carl Cofield
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.

Off the Rails

  • July 27 - October 28, 2017       
  • Angus Bowmer Theatre    
  • By Randy Reinholz | Directed by Bill Rauch | World Premiere
Check back here for review. We will post shortly after play opens.