Tales from the Vault: January

Posted on Oct 4th, 2012 in OSF Archives

For those new arrivals in Ashland, I thought I would dig into the files of earlier Orientation materials. The following comes from the 1962 Guide, which may have been written by Angus Bowmer:

“There are no stars in Ashland. The theatre has built its reputation, and furthered its box office receipts, by specifically striving for ensemble performances. The Festival has not needed the promotion attraction of big name stars to gain its success. Consequently, accepted members of the company can expect to be cast and placed according to their abilities. They may play a name role one night and a 3rd Messenger the next—but in Ashland they can always expect the satisfying experience of working within the disciplined unity that results when the playwright’s intent takes top billing.

“Note to men: Elizabethan hair styles require long hair or the appearance of it. Nothing is more incongruous than the combination of crewcut and tights. So, when your word of acceptance arrives, start letting your hair grow so you’ll have a head start before auditions.

“If you’re a member of the Technical Department…you’ve been busy. Technical preparations for an Elizabethan production on the Festival’s stage are in many ways unique. You have a rigid deadline to meet…. As performance period approaches, the night hours will be lengthened.”

As you can see, some things have changed, some things remain the same. It was ever thus.

Written originally for The Company Call, January 2000, by Kit Leary.

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