Oregon Shakespeare Festival: What to Expect from the 2024 Season
ASHLAND, Ore. — Well, everyone, Ashland’s favorite festival is making the rounds once more, and it’s coming back. While last year was a bit bumpy due to the lingering aftermath of Covid, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is now back and better than ever for its 2024 season.
Plan to join Ashland for OSF? Well, you’re in for quite the treat in this case! We have plenty of shows for you to enjoy, among other engaging activities to get your interests piqued. So, keep an eye on the stage, because you’re going to love what they have lined up for the 2024 season.
We have quite the list of shows lined up for you this season, some you may know, and others that will offer you a fresh new experience altogether.
If you’re worried about maybe not having time to see them for a few months, don’t worry, because these will be around for quite a while.
If you’re interested in buying tickets, you can go onto the OSF website to buy tickets ahead of time. Make sure to hurry, because some of the earlier shows might sell out.
Directed by Evren Odcikin
Performed March 19 to October 12 at the Angus Bowmer Theatre
It’s the story we all know and love from our wonderful William Shakespeare. Scottish General Macbeth is sent on a bloody quest to become queen after a prophecy dictates the ever-changing tides of fate before him. With themes of war, power, and magic, this highly revered Shakespeare tragedy will be brought to life by a wonderful cast at OSF for your viewing pleasure. This feature will be playing all season long.
Born with Teeth
Directed by Rob Melrose
Associate Director Anna Crace
Performed March 20 to October 13 at the Angus Bowmer Theatre
Have you ever wanted to see two of the greatest writers of their time, William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, argue in the back room of a pub? That’s right, it’s the scenario you never knew you needed. This dark comedy sees the two men attempting to collaborate over a play, only to be distracted by fighting and flirting with the backdrop of an oppressive, spy-filled police state lingering about. If you’re looking for a delightful time with a dramatic and spicy dark comedy, Born with Teeth has you covered.
Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender
Directed by Laurie Woolery
Performed March 21 to May 4 at the Thomas Theatre
Written and performed by internationally renowned actor and scholar of all things Shakespeare, Laurie Woolery truly puts on a performance that will blow you away. Having played more male roles of Shakespeare’s than any woman in history, she explores both cross-gender matters and the remarkable story of her life. She proves that while his literature may be aged with time and considered dated, his work is still as relevant as ever.
Smote This, A Comedy About God… and Other Serious $H*T
Performed March 22 to May 12 at the Thomas Theatre
Ready for some seriously deep $h*t? Smote This is a one-man comedy about Rodney Gardiner and his attempt to abandon God despite his Christian roots. This entertaining tangle of tangents and stories explores themes of God and delves into deeper matters. This includes a rather heavy 1980s Miami, filled with racial unrest, a drug war, and an immigration crisis. It’s funny, it’s thoughtful, and it’s a delightful watch that will leave you thoroughly entertained.
Virgins to Villains: My Journey with Shakespeare’s Women
Directed by Penny Metropulos
Performed May 16 to July 19 at the Thomas Theatre
Actress Robin Goodrin Nordli has. Performed in 61 productions of 30 plays of the man himself, William Shakespeare. She uses this “inside knowledge” of sorts to explore her life through her understanding and relationship to the women within the well-known women represented in Shakespeare’s plays. From the virgins of her past to the villains of her present, Nordli expertly weaves in her knowledge of the famous Shakespearean into an enthralling introspection into her own life.
Directed by Brandon Ivie
Performed June 11 to October 12 at the Thomas Theatre
Lizard Boy tells the story of Trevor, an outcast whose skin has turned green and scaly after encountering a dragon. Now he leaves his house to go on a date during Monsterfest, the anniversary of the incident that changed him forever. He finds himself flung into a complex encounter where he must accept who he is in order to save his city (and his date) from the return of the dragons. It’s funny, it’s quirky, and it’s heartbreaking; this winner of six San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards is a great ride all around.
With a modern translation by Sean San José
Directed by Rosa Joshi
Performed July 23 to October 13 at the Thomas Theatre
Here’s another, lesser known Shakespeare production that is still just as good as all the rest. It speaks of a war hero coming to serve his nation in a time of civil unrest and famine, only to turn on it and seek an overthrow. It’s a production that is very rarely put to the stage, but Sean San José’s modern translation of this tragedy truly brings the visceral story to life. With themes of democracy and ambition, it’s an oddly fitting production for the 2024 season, so says the OSF crew themselves.
Behfarmaheen (If You Please)
Directed by Desdemona ChiangPerformed July 31 to September 15 at the Thomas Theatre
It’s the engaging true tale of a young immigrant stuck between two worlds and his journey to find his place in all of it. This fascinating story includes traditional Iranian music, multilingual dialogue, and American pop culture. It will leave you enthralled in the life of one man that gives us a story that many can relate to.
Much Ado About Nothing
Directed by Miriam A. LaubePerformed June 1 to October 12 at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre
While Shakespeare has always been known for his tragedies, we’re certain you would be just as engaged by his wit, comedy, and romance. It’s a story about Don Pedro, whose army has just returned after a victory in a war. Even as two tumultuous couples are hurdling hilarious quips and accusations back and forth, you can tell that love is in the air. It’s a mischievous game of love that is wonderfully written by Shakespeare and beautifully brought to life by the team at OSF. It’s a great watch and Shakespeare great that you won’t want to miss.
Directed by Dawn Monique WilliamsPerformed May 31 to October 11 at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre
One of literature’s most beloved heroines, Jane Eyre, is brought to the stage in this wonderful adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s novel. It’s the story of an orphan who was raised by cruel relatives and teachers. She now adventures by herself into adulthood to work as a governess on an estate. When she falls in love with her brooding employer, she comes to find that there are dark secrets surrounding his home. From there comes a story of mystery, hope, and intrigue. Jane Eyre is wonderfully adapted by Elizabeth Williamson, who truly brings out all of Jane’s best qualities. It’s a wonderful watch I’d suggest to any lover of the original novel.
While the shows are the main attraction, there are many reasons why people like to stay around the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the 2024 Season.
Here are some things about OSF that you might find quite interesting:
- There will be plenty of entertainment and engagement events, including tours, workshops, talkbacks, discussions, and even a school visit program.
- Shows will be accessible to those who are hard of hearing. In fact, there are certain shows with ASL interpreted performances. You can find dates on the OSF website.
- The Green Show is a favorite with visitors. It offers free music, dance, and other performances for four nights a week from May 31 to October 12.