A major theatre arts organization, OSF offers a diversity of plays as well as events and activities to enhance your overall experience.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1935. Our season runs from February through early November, and we have three theatres: our two indoor stages, the Angus Bowmer Theatre and the Thomas Theatre, and our flagship outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, which opens in early June and runs through mid-October. We offer 11 different plays that include three or four by Shakespeare and seven by other classic writers, as well as modern and contemporary work and world premieres. When you visit you can see one or two plays or up to nine plays in one week!
Our mission statement helps guide us in all of our endeavors here at OSF:
"Inspired by Shakespeare's work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory."
What’s in a name? Why are we called the Oregon Shakespeare Festival?
- Oregon: We are located in Southern Oregon, in Ashland to be precise, and we are proud to be a part of the Oregon theatre community.
- Shakespeare: For many years we performed only Shakespearean productions. In fact, we had only one theatre, the Elizabethan Stage (three different buildings: 1935, 1947, 1959). With the opening of the Angus Bowmer Theatre in 1970 and the Black Swan in 1977 we were able to extend the length of our season into the spring and fall, and also expand our repertoire to include other classic playwrights, as well as contemporary and new work. The Thomas Theatre (formerly New Theatre) opened in 2002 to replace the Black Swan.
- Festival: OSF prides itself on offering a diversity of experiences that we hope feels like a Festival event. Once you’re on campus, particularly in the summer, you can experience not only a number of plays, but also backstage tours, park talks, lectures, classes, workshops, pre- and post-show conversations, a free Green Show before the evening shows from June through October. These are all offered to enhance your play-going experience.
We are located in Southern Oregon, in Ashland to be precise, and we are proud to be a part of the Oregon theatre community.
What else should I know about OSF if I want to come?
OSF invites and welcomes everyone. We believe the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. We are committed to diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences. To learn more about some of our programs designed to reach out to diverse audiences check out our Cultural Connections section.
You can learn more about what to expect when you visit Ashland and OSF here. You’ll find information about the theatres, attire, parking, and weather.