The Ashland Shakespeare Festival, officially known as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, has a long history of quality theater known throughout North America.
The festival began in the 1930's when Angus Bowmer, Drama Instructor, at Southern Oregon College began producing the plays of William Shakespeare in a small outdoor theater next to Lithia Park. In the beginning the season was short, and the number of plays small.
Today eleven plays are performed each year in three theaters from February through October. Three to four of the plays are always by Shakespeare and at least one of them is a comedy. Seven to eight of the plays are by other authors and most of those are from the 20th Century.
The Elizabethan Theater is patterned after the Seventeenth Century Fortune Theater of London. The stage looks like a street in Tudor England. It is a delightful experience to watch a play on this stage on a warm southern Oregon evening under the stars. The seating is in a semi circle around the stage and I don't think there is a bad seat in the lot. The season for this theater runs from late June to early October.
The Taming of the Shrew - by William Shakespeare
My Fair Lady - book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe
Two Trains Running - by August Wilson
King Lear - by William Shakespeare
A Streetcar Named Desire - by Tennessee Williams
The Tenth Muse - by Tanya Saracho. World Premiere
The Unfortunates - Book, music and lyrics by 3 Blind Mice and Casey Hurt.
The Liquid Plain - by Naomi Wallace
The Heart of Robin Hood - by David Farr. U.S. Premiere
A Midsummer Night's Dream - by William Shakespeare
Cymbeline - by William Shakespeare
Phone: (541) 482-4331 Toll-Free: (800) 219-8161 Fax: (541) 482-8045 Oregon Shakespeare Festival 15 S. Pioneer Street PO Box 158 Ashland, OR 97520
The Box Office is open Monday: 9:30 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – performance time.
When you attend an evening play you want to get there early so you can enjoy the Green Show on the Festival Courtyard Stage.
You can also take a tour of the backstages of the theaters. You need reservations and tickets for these. Call the Box Office number above. Beware: tours include six flights of stairs.Oregon Vacations › Southern Oregon › Shakespeare Festival