ASHLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Shakespeare Festival invites audiences to enjoy two plays by William Shakespeare — plus one about saving his words and securing his legacy — under the stars when its flagship outdoor theater opens the weekend of June 15–17.
The Allen Elizabethan Theatre will feature “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Dámaso Rodríguez; Lauren Gunderson’s “The Book of Will,” directed by Christopher Liam Moore; and “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” directed by Amanda Dehnert. Previews begin June 5, and all three shows will run through the weekend of Oct. 12–14.
OSF’s popular Green Show, featuring free live entertainment on the Courtyard Stage six nights a week at 6:45 p.m. throughout the run of the Allen Elizabethan Theatre productions, will return on June 15 and continue through Oct. 14.
The 2018 Green Show schedule is available at osfashland.org/GreenShow. This summer’s lineup includes singer-songwriter and activist Raye Zaragoza, Bay Area interdisciplinary arts collective Jazz Mafia Kinesthesia, collaborations with the Britt Festival and Southern Oregon University, a number of returning favorites such as Phoenix and Four Directions and the international award-winning Taiwanese musical group A Moving Sound.
The Ashland Lions Club will celebrate the opening of the Allen Elizabethan Theatre on Friday, June 15 at 6 p.m. with its Feast of Will, an evening of food and entertainment featuring a full dinner of barbecue chicken or vegetarian lasagna, coupled with music by the Jefferson Bag Pipers and Siskiyou Singers. The Lions Club donates profits to projects benefiting Lithia Park and many other organizations. Tickets are $15, and are available online, at the OSF box office or by phone at 800-219-8161.
The weekend’s activities continue on Monday, June 18, as OSF invites the community to a celebration of Juneteenth, the oldest-known commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This year’s theme is Activate: A Roll Call & Response, and the day’s activities will include a pay-what-you-can play reading at 1 p.m. in the Black Swan Theatre and the Juneteenth Celebration Main Event on the Courtyard Stage at 5:30 p.m.
The 2018 season is dedicated to the memory of beloved actor and 14-season company member G. Valmont (G. Val) Thomas, who passed away in December after battling with cancer. Thomas was to perform in “Romeo and Juliet” this year.
The three Allen Elizabethan Theatre plays join six productions already running in the Angus Bowmer and Thomas Theatres: “Othello,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Destiny of Desire,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”, “Henry V” and “Manahatta.” Still to come in the 2018 season are Idris Goodwin’s world-premiere American Revolutions commission “The Way the Mountain Moved” and the U.S. premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s “Snow in Midsummer.”