Opening productions celebrate commitment to classical work
January 25, 2013
ASHLAND, ORE.—The Tony Award–winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2013 preview performances begin February 15, and the season will open Friday night, February 22 with Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, directed by David Ivers. On Saturday, August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, directed by Lou Bellamy, takes the stage, as does Lerner and Loewe’s classic American musical My Fair Lady, directed by Amanda Dehnert. Sunday afternoon in the Thomas Theatre, Shakespeare’s King Lear opens, directed by OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch.
“These four opening productions celebrate the full range of stories that reflect OSF’s 78-year commitment to classical work,” Rauch said. “There’s a heartfelt and fresh take on a Shakespeare comedy, a searing American classic by the great August Wilson, an innovative rendition of one of the most beloved musical comedies, and an intimate encounter with Shakespeare’s most epic tragedy. The other productions that will open throughout this remarkably exciting season include two more Shakespearean classics, another American classic—this one by Tennessee Williams—a contemporary retelling of the Robin Hood tale, and three dynamic and compelling world premieres—all demonstrating the power and diversity of the stories we tell.”
The Taming of the Shrew (February 15 – November 3) by William Shakespeare
Lead Sponsor: U.S. Bank; Production Sponsor: Jed and Celia Meese; Production Partner: Jerry and Jeanne Taylor Family Foundation
The comic love story of Kate and Petruchio comes once again to OSF’s stages, this time in the Angus Bowmer Theatre—the first ever staging in this venue. Directed by David Ivers, co-Artistic Director of Utah Shakespeare Festival in his directorial debut at OSF, this vibrant, brisk production is set in a re-imagined Padua, Italy, where the tangle of masquerades and misdirection plays out against a backdrop of boardwalks, roller coasters and rockabilly music. But behind the arcades is the deeply serious matter of love, roles and who we really are.
The cast of The Taming of the Shrew features Nell Geisslinger as Kate, Ted Deasy as Petruchio, Robert Vincent Frank as Baptista Minola, Royer Bockus as Bianca, David Kelly as Gremio, Tasso Feldman as Grumio, Christiana Clark as Biondello, Jeremy Peter Johnson as Hortensio, Wayne T. Carr as Lucentio, John Tufts as Tranio and Tyrone Wilson as Vincentio. Others in the cast include Catherine E. Coulson, Terri McMahon, Mark Murphey, Brent Hinkley and Andrew E. Yabroff. Musicians in the band are Evan Davidson, David Burns McClure, and Michael Caruso.
Scenic design is by Jo Winiarski; costumes by Meg Neville; lighting by Jaymi Lee Smith; music and sound by Paul James Prendergast. Lue Morgan Douthit is dramaturg; Scott Kaiser is voice & text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director, and Amy Miranda Warner is stage manager.
Two Trains Running by August Wilson; (February 16 – July 7)
Production Partners: Cynthia Muss Lawrence, Anonymous Applegate Donors
August Wilson’s 10-play “Pittsburgh Cycle” is one of the greatest contributions to American drama, and this play, set in 1969, is about the characters’ search for a future in the face of harsh economic realities and broken promises. This not-to-be-missed production is directed by Lou Bellamy (also his directorial debut at OSF), artistic director of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Penumbra has produced more of Wilson’s plays than any other theatre, and Bellamy has directed all of Wilson’s plays, both at Penumbra and around the country.
The cast features Terry Bellamy as Memphis, Kevin Kenerly as Sterling, Josiah Phillips as Holloway, Kenajuan Bentley as Wolf, Tyrone Wilson as Hambone, and Jerome Preston Bates as West.
Scenic design is by Vicki Smith; costumes are by Mathew LeFebvre; lighting by Jaymi Lee Smith; music and sound by Martin Gwinup; dramaturg is Wind Dell Woods; David Carey is voice & text director and D. Christian Bolender is stage manager.
My Fair Lady (February 17 – November 3) Book and Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; Music by Frederick Loewe
Lead Sponsor: Peter and Helen Bing; Production Partners: Katie Farewell, Kevin and Suzanne Kahn, Betty and Jack Schafer, Avista
This ever-popular Tony Award-winning American musical, based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, comes to the Angus Bowmer Theatre for the entire season. Amanda Dehnert (Julius Caesar, All’s Well that Ends Well) will direct this engaging and enduring story about class, language, love and independence. For this intimate production, two grand pianos will grace the stage and provide orchestration. Dehnert describes this two-piano version, written by Frederick Loewe, as “a beautiful way to hear the music again for the first time.”
The cast features Rachael Warren as Eliza Doolittle, Jonathan Haugen as Henry Higgins, Anthony Heald as Alfred P. Doolittle, David Kelly as Colonel Pickering, Ken Robinson as Freddy Eynsford, Eduardo Placer as Zoltan Karpathy, Jeremy Peter Johnson as Harry, Chavez Ravine as Mrs. Higgins. Others in the cast are Kjerstine Rose Anderson, Mauro Hantman, Christina Acosta Robinson, Royer Bockus, Miriam A. Laube, Cecily Palzewicz, Leah Sanginiti, Justin Montalvo, Daniel T. Parker, Miles Fletcher, Rodney Gardiner and Chloe Brown. On the pianos are Matt Goodrich and Ron Ochs.
Scenic design is by David Jenkins, costume design by Devon Painter; lighting by M.L. Geiger; associate musical direction by Darcy Danielson; sound design by Kai Harada and Associates; and choreography by Jaclyn Miller. David Carey is voice & text director, and Jill Rendall is stage manager.
King Lear (February 21-November 3) by William Shakespeare
Lead Sponsor: Roberta and David Elliott; Production Partners: Lynne Carmichael, Hitz Foundation, The Hobbes Family
In an exciting scheduling change in the intimate Thomas Theatre, OSF will now run three plays in repertory. King Lear, directed by Artistic Director Bill Rauch, will run all season. In this way audiences will be able to see one of Shakespeare’s most winning comedies and most celebrated tragedies at any time during the season.
In addition, two actors will play Lear in alternating performances. This will no doubt be a production that audiences will want to see twice. Staged in the round and in a contemporary setting, this greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies of a kingdom and two families in chaos, has an undeniably modern sensibility, revealing the dark and deadly consequences of human actions, as well as the human capacity for love and loyalty. Rauch has said of this play: “No other work captures so well what it means to be an aging parent, an adult child, a human being.”
The cast features Jack Willis and Michael Winters in alternating performances as King Lear, Armando Durán as Kent, Richard Elmore as Gloucester, Raffi Barsoumian as Edmund, Benjamin Pelteson as Edgar, Vilma Silva as Goneril, Robin Goodrin Nordli as Regan, Sofia Jean Gomez as Cordelia, Barzin Akhavan as Oswald, Daisuke Tsuji as Fool, Rex Young as Cornwall, Peter Frechette as Albany, Tony DeBruno as King of France and Ray Fisher as Burgundy.
Associate Artistic Director and scenic designer Christopher Acebo has created the set. Costumes are by Linda Roethke; lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, and music and sound by Andre J. Pluess. Barry Kraft is dramaturg; Rebecca Clark Carey is voice & text director, and Moira Gleason is stage manager.
And coming later this season…
Opening the end of March is a world premiere production, The Unfortunates by 3 Blind Mice (Jon Beavers, Ian Merrigan, Ramiz Monsef) and Casey Hurt with additional material by Kristoffer Diaz. It’s a play, a musical and a concert, and has been called a musical comic book with superheroes. Soaked with soul-stirring music, it’s also a journey through American music.
In April Tennessee Williams’ great American classic, A Streetcar Named Desire, opens. Directed by Christopher Liam Moore and the team that staged the extremely popular Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 2010, this production is sure to sell quickly.
On the Elizabethan Stage Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will share the same sylvan setting with the U.S. premiere of David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood. Audiences can delight in this shared design, dubbed “into the woods,” under the stars!
And opening at the end of the season are two world premieres, Naomi Wallace’s The Liquid Plain (an American Revolutions commission and winner of the Horton Foote Prize) and Tanya Saracho’s The Tenth Muse. The Liquid Plain, set in the late 18th century, is a searing, humorous and utterly compelling story of two runaway slaves who plan a desperate and daring run for freedom. And The Tenth Muse will take audiences into a Mexican cloister, where young nuns’ and servants’ worlds are changed indelibly by the blazing and blasphemous writings of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.
Biographies of directors, designers and actors for the 2013 season can all be found here.
OSF’s 2013 season runs from February 15 through November 3, offering 791 performances of 11 productions. The season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.
Previews, Openings and Tickets
Tickets remain available to previews and most opening performances. Patrons can save 40 percent on preview tickets. Please check ticket availability online or call the Box Office at 541-482-4331 or 800-219-8161. This season all “C” tickets are $25 for all performances. Preview and opening times and dates are as follows:
The Taming of the Shrew Friday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. (preview)
The Taming of the Shrew Tuesday, Feb. 19, 8 p.m. (preview)
The Taming of the Shrew Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. (opening)
Two Trains Running Saturday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m. (preview)
Two Trains Running Wednesday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m. (preview)
Two Trains Running Saturday, Feb. 23, 1:30 p.m. (opening)
My Fair Lady Sunday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m. (preview)
My Fair Lady Thursday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m. (preview)
My Fair Lady Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. (opening)
King Lear Thursday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m. (preview)
King Lear Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. (preview)
King Lear Sunday, Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m. (opening)
An Important Note about Matinees and Evening Performances, Parking and Access
Matinees will begin at 1:30 p.m. and evening shows at 8:00 p.m. through the entire season. The city-owned parking facility next to the New Theatre is available for parking. Cost of parking is $1.00 during the day and $3.00 at night. For a map of the campus and directions, please visit our website.