The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

800px-Lithia_Park_bridge_(Ashland,_Oregon)

Sorry for not posting last week, I was busy watching a bunch of cool plays in Ashland, Oregon. I’m going to try to give some brief thoughts about the shows and the experience while still remaining coherent, as I am very tired.

First, the shows: Water by the Spoonful, The Cocoanuts, Comedy of Errors, and The Tempest. There wasn’t a bad show out of the bunch, and the actors, technicians, and designers consistently impressed me with their creativity and dedication. The atmosphere definitely contributed to my impression of the shows. When everyone is taking theatre seriously, chances are you will too.
Each show had an outstanding element. For Water by the Spoonful, it was the playwright’s brilliant treatment of addiction and relationships. For The Cocoanuts, manic improvisation and enormous musical numbers wowed. For Comedy of Errors, the physical comedy and farce were the best elements. And for The Tempest, the technical elements were outstanding. None of the shows were perfect. However, each of them taught me something about the theatre.

Second, my experiences outside of the shows. Because I was traveling with a group of high school students on an educational field trip, I had the opportunity to talk to some of the actors and writers who were involved in the repertory performances. I was surprised by the variety of roads taken to this amazing theatrical site. They were all very professional and for the most part humble, about what for them is a day job and an art form. I was also allowed to watch the first part of a set change-over between The Tempest and The Cocoanuts, and it was cool to see the guts of the theatre, especially after such a technically involved performance of The Tempest. Finally, and almost completely unrelated to theatre, I had the opportunity to get to know people from the crosstown high school as well as my own classmates. It was a nice way to start winding down my high-school experience.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this, but I’m too tired to think right now. However, I created this because I really wanted to get a post up, so updates may be forthcoming.

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