In the lovely town of Medford, Oregon, there is a theater company known as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). The festival, which was established in 1935, has been drawing tourists from all over the world for more than 85 years because of its dedication to producing top-notch plays, gorgeous outdoor performance venues, and exciting cultural programming.
One of the biggest and most well-known theater companies in the US is the OSF. The festival consistently produces a wide variety of plays, including plays by William Shakespeare, as well as modern classics and fresh plays by up-and-coming playwrights. The festival’s three indoor theatres and one outdoor theatre attract over 400,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most popular cultural attractions in the Pacific Northwest.
The Elizabethan Theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor theater, is among its most distinctive features. The theater is based on the Globe Theatre in London, which first staged many of Shakespeare’s plays. With over 1,200 seats, an open-air stage, a thatched roof, and hand-painted banners, the Elizabethan Theatre is a stunning venue. The theater immerses viewers in a time travel experience that takes them back to the heyday of Elizabethan theater.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is well-known for its dynamic cultural programming in addition to its impressive theaters. Throughout the year, the festival hosts a variety of occasions and activities, such as workshops, talks, readings, and performances. Visitors can gain a deeper understanding of the plays and the cultural setting in which they were written thanks to these activities.
The festival’s annual Green Show is one of its most well-attended activities. Before each evening’s mainstage performance, a free outdoor performance called “The Green Show” takes place. Audiences of all ages will enjoy the show, which includes a variety of musical, dance, and theatrical performances.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s dedication to inclusion and diversity is another distinctive feature. The festival has made a concerted effort to select performers from a variety of backgrounds and to write plays that represent a wide range of experiences and viewpoints. The festival has recently produced a number of plays that address significant racial, gender, and sexual orientation issues. These productions have received praise for their provocative subject matter and capacity to start significant community conversations.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability. A variety of eco-friendly programs have been implemented at the festival, including an extensive recycling program, energy-efficient lighting, and sustainable landscaping techniques. The Oregon Environmental Council and the Ashland Chamber of Commerce are just two organizations that have commended the festival for its dedication to sustainability.
A range of education and outreach programs are available from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the festival’s world. Shakespeare’s plays are performed in classrooms across the state as part of the festival’s School Visit Program, where professional actors also facilitate workshops with students. Through the festival’s Apprentice Program, aspiring actors and theater professionals have the chance to work with seasoned professionals and gain useful experience in all facets of theatre production.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in summary, is a distinctive and dynamic cultural institution that has something to offer everyone. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival should not be missed, whether you’re a devoted Shakespeare fan, a theatre enthusiast, or just looking for a memorable cultural experience. The festival is a true gem in the Pacific Northwest, from its stunning performance spaces and superb productions to its dedication to diversity, inclusion, and sustainability. You won’t be let down if you include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in your itinerary for a trip to Medford, Oregon.