A quartet of William Shakespeare productions will be joined by a musical, a continuation of last year's hit LBJ play All the Way, and three world premieres on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2014 playbill Ashland, Ore.
“Next season is packed with characters trying to figure out how to live their lives responsibly in relation to their rapidly changing societies,” the Ashland-based festival's artistic director, Bill Rauch, said in a press release. “In many ways, next season is a response to and deepening of the programming in the current and past few years."
The season will open in February with Shakespeare's The Tempest in the Angus Bowmer Theatre and The Comedy Of Errors in the Thomas Theatre. Opening the Elizabethan Stage season in June will be Richard III, its first presentation on the outdoor stage in 30 years. It will be joined by The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
The year-round Angus Bowmer Theatre's repertory will also include the Marx Brothers farce The Cocoanuts, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman, with additional text by Morrie Ryskind, and adapted by Mark Bedard. Playing through early July is the neglected classic drama The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window by Lorraine Hansberry, author of Les Blancs and A Raisin in the Sun (produced at OSF in 1998 and 2004). The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window originally opened on Broadway in 1964 and ran for 101 performances, closing on the night Hansberry died. This production honors the 50th anniversary of that opening. Opening in April is the world premiere adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning book A Wrinkle in Time, adapted by Tracy Young. In July, the final show to open in the Bowmer is the world premiere by Robert Schenkkan of The Great Society, which continues the story of Lyndon Baines Johnson's presidency begun in Schenkkan’s All the Way (2012). The Great Society, commissioned by and coproduced with Seattle Repertory Theatre, is being developed by American Revolutions.
Joining Comedy of Errors in the Thomas Theatre will be Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize–winning play Water by the Spoonful and another OSF world premiere, Family Album, a musical created by Stew and his writing partner, Heidi Rodewald. It was commissioned by OSF with support from the Edgerton Foundation.
The third production on the Elizabethan Stage will be Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods.
"Four of our projects are written wholly or in part by five extraordinary female writers," Rauch noted in the press release. "We are proud to offer projects for multiple generations of families to enjoy together, including journeys to forests, an island, and other planets.”
February 20, 2013