Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch unveiled the 2010 75th anniversary season at a member event today in the New Theatre.
The season will be anchored by four plays by William Shakespeare, and in a nod to OSF's first season, the two plays produced by Angus Bowmer in 1935 will be staged on the Elizabethan. "The Merchant Of Venice," directed by Rauch, and "Twelfth Night" will open in June.
Also playing in repertory outside is "Henry IV, Part One," directed by Penny Metropulos, a longtime veteran with OSF, former associate artistic director, and the first woman to direct this play at OSF. "Hamlet," directed by Rauch, will open at the top of the season in the Angus Bowmer Theatre and run throughout the season.
Also opening in February in the Angus Bowmer Theatre is "Pride and Prejudice," based on Jane Austen's hugely popular romantic tale of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Artistic Director Emerita Libby Appel will direct. Alongside this great British classic, OSF, after 26 years, will bring back Maggie, Brick, Big Daddy and Big Mama in Tennessee Williams's great American classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Christopher Liam Moore, director of this season's "Dead Man's Cell Phone," will stage this turbulent tale of the decay of a Southern family.
The fourth show to enter the repertory in the Angus Bowmer Theatre will be the delightfully frothy and romantic musical "She Loves Me" (music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joe Masteroff) based on the Hungarian play "Parfumerie" Â— which also gave rise to the 1940 film "The Shop around the Corner" and Nora Ephron's 1998 remake "You've Got Mail." The production will be directed by award-winning artist Rebecca Bayla Taichman, a self-confessed lover of musicals and winner of the Harold Prince Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical.
Staying true to his mission of bringing world classics to OSF stages, Rauch commissioned internationally recognized director and writer Ping Chong to adapt "Throne of Blood," Akira Kurosawa's 1957 film, for the stage. The film is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth set in feudal Japan. Ping Chong will also direct.
In the New Theatre, Lisa Kron's "Well" will open at the top of the season directed by OSF Associate Artist and actor James Edmondson. The play follows a daughter's comic metatheatrical journey to understand her mother's illness. Opening in March is Lynn Nottage's acclaimed new drama "Ruined," about a tough businesswoman, Mama Nadi, and the women she protects and profits from amid a bloody conflict that rages outside. OSF has also produced "Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy" in 2000 and "Intimate Apparel" in 2006.
The final show to open in the New Theatre is the first of the commissions for American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle, announced in June 2008. "American Night" by Culture Clash will be directed by New York-based and Obie Award-winning artist Jo Bonney. The play weaves multiple narratives about ordinary people who, in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, resist the status quo and sacrifice their well-being for the benefit of others.
The 2010 season will begin previews on Feb. 19 and close on Oct. 24. The season will be two weeks shorter than in 2009, but only one week shorter than in 2007. Depending on the impact of the economy and on audience response, it is possible the season would be extended for one week in October. A decision on this will be made early in summer 2010.
2010 Season at a Glance:
ANGUS BOWMER THEATRE
HAMLET by William Shakespeare
Feb. 26 — Oct. 24 (first preview Feb. 19)
Director: Bill Rauch
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF by Tennessee Williams
Feb. 27 — July 4 (first preview Feb. 20)
Director: Christopher Liam Moore
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
Feb. 27-Oct. 24 (first preview Feb. 21)
Director: Libby Appel
SHE LOVES ME
April 17 — Oct. 23 (first preview April 14)
Music by Jerry Bock; Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick; Book by Joe Masteroff
Director: Rebecca Bayla Taichman
THRONE OF BLOOD World Premiere
July 24 — Oct. 23 (first preview July 21)
Adapted by Ping Chong from the film by Akira Kurosawa
Director: Ping Chong
WELL by Lisa Kron
Feb. 28 - June 18 (first preview 2/25)
Director: James Edmondson
RUINED by Lynn Nottage
March 27 — Oct. 24 (first preview March 24)
AMERICAN NIGHT by Culture Clash, World Premiere
July 3 — Oct. 24 (first preview June 29)
Director: Jo Bonney
ELIZABETHAN STAGE/ALLEN PAVILION
TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare
June 11 — Oct. 8 (first preview June 1)
HENRY IV, PART ONE by William Shakespeare
June 12 — Oct. 9 (first preview June 2)
Director: Penny Metropulos
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE by William Shakespeare
June 13 — Oct. 10 (first preview 6/3)
Director: Bill Rauch
Updated Director and Designer information will be posted soon at www.osfashland.org.