World premieres by Lynn Nottage, Jeff Whitty and Alexa Junge, the musical "Guys and Dolls" and classics "Long Day's Journey Into Night" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" highlight the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2015 season, announced Friday.
Artistic Director Bill Rauch also announced a plan to produce all 37 plays in William Shakespeare's canon over a 10-year period, from 2015 to 2024. To launch this initiative, the 2015 season, which is the festival's 80th, includes three Shakespeare plays, one in each of OSF's theaters.
"Although OSF has completed the canon three times since our founding in 1935, it has taken 19 years or more each time," Rauch said in a press release. "I am thrilled to allow ongoing and new generations of OSF audience members the opportunity to see Shakespeare's entire body of work in robust American interpretations by some of our nation's most exciting artists ... within the relatively short span of a decade."
The Angus Bowmer Theatre will feature Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"; Frank Loesser's "Guys and Dolls"; the world premiere of Alexa Junge's "Fingersmith"; "Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land," a modern Chinese classic; and the world premiere of "Sweat," Nottage's look at American de-industrialization in the late 20th century.
In the Thomas Theatre will be Shakespeare's "Pericles" and Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night." A third play will be announced later this spring.
The outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre will play host to Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra"; the world premiere of Jeff Whitty's "Head Over Heels," a musical drawing on the Go-Go's catalog; and an adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo."
"The energy of this particular combination of plays makes my head spin and heart beat faster than I thought possible, even here on our campus where mind-blowing theatrical juxtapositions are the coin of the realm," Rauch said in the release.
"Much Ado About Nothing" will be produced indoors for the first time at OSF. A director has yet to be announced. It runs from Feb. 20 to Nov. 1.
"Guys and Dolls," with music and lyrics by Loesser, is a tale of gamblers, gangsters and the Save-a-Soul Mission. Mary Zimmerman, who wrote and directed "The White Snake" in 2012, will direct. It runs Feb. 22 to Nov. 1.
"Fingersmith" is a new adaptation by Alexa Junge of the 2002 Victorian-inspired crime fiction novel by Sarah Waters. Rauch will direct its premiere, which runs Feb. 21 through July 12.
"Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land," by Stan Lai, has become one of the most popular plays in modern China since its debut in 1986. Lai will direct the OSF production. The play tells the tale of two drama troupes that happen to reserve the same rehearsal space at the same time for two wildly different productions. It runs April 15 through Oct. 31.
Nottage's "Sweat" is a co-commission with Arena Stage through OSF's American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. At the end of the last millennium, a group of close friends are shaken by events at the steel plant where they work and an unspeakable act that has repercussions over two generations. A director has yet to be announced. It runs from July 29 through Oct. 31.
Shakespeare's "Pericles," last produced at OSF in 1999, will be directed by Joseph Haj. It runs Feb. 26 through Nov. 1.
"Long Day's Journey Into Night," Eugene O'Neill's classic tale of the Tyrone family, will be directed by OSF veteran Christopher Liam Moore. It runs March 25 through Oct. 31.
"Antony and Cleopatra" will be directed by Rauch. It runs June 2 through Oct. 9.
"Head Over Heels" is a musical based on a book by Jeff Whitty ("The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler") and music and lyrics from the catalog of the Go-Go's. Inspired by Philip Sidney's "Arcadia," this rollicking, comedic adventure tale, set in the Elizabethan period, will be directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. It runs June 3 through Oct. 10.
"The Count of Monte Cristo," adapted from the book by Alexandre Dumas, is a classic adventure tale is about a man wrongfully imprisoned, who after escaping and acquiring a fortune, sets about to exact his revenge. A director has yet to be announced. It runs June 4 through Oct. 11.
Tickets for the 2015 season will go on sale in November 2014 for members, and general sales will begin in early December.
For more information, visit www.osfashland.org.