Nation’s flagship repertory theatre will offer a Fall programming schedule and focus on funding
To learn more, visit: osfashland.org
Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, Oregon Shakespeare Festival reveal their collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.
Lovers of Shakespeare around the country will have to wait until September 8 for the reopening of 2020 season (85th season) of Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland due to the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The effect on the organization’s finances has forced OSF to lay off approximately 80% of its full time-staff, artists, and seasonal workers in order to mitigate additional losses. All laid-off company members with current OSF health benefits will have them fully paid for two additional months, with many expected to return to OSF when programming resumes.
“It is with great sadness that we are making these announcements today. The resulting delay in the reopening of our 2020 season has very real financial consequences not only for this organization and our family of staff, artists, and volunteers, but for the city of Ashland, its restaurants, hotels, retail, and other businesses, and the entire Rogue Valley region,” said Nataki Garrett, OSF’s artistic director. “In unprecedented circumstances like this, when all communities are feeling the impact of a global pandemic, it is important to be grounded in our compassion for one another. I know that our community will see OSF through and help us return as soon as possible to the celebration of art we’re known for.”
Beginning September 8 and running through November 1, OSF will present a six-production schedule:
Bring Down the House, Parts I and II;
The Copper Children;
A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and
Peter and the Starcatcher, with
opening in the Festival’s outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
To ensure the financial health of OSF, Confederates, Bernhardt/Hamlet, black odyssey, Everything That Never Happened, and Poor Yella Rednecks, nearly one half of the season’s original programming, have been canceled. In addition to these plays, the Green Show is canceled for 2020.
“We truly regret that so many amazing stories and artistic visions will not be shared with our audiences this year,” Garrett continued. “It is our sincere hope that some of these plays will be part of future seasons at OSF. And when we reopen our doors this Fall, we’ll sing out six exemplary works, six opportunities for our audiences to be renewed by and celebrate the art they love.”
While preparing to reopen in the Fall, OSF is mounting a $5 million Emergency Funding Campaign to address immediate cash-flow relief due to lost revenue, and to grow digital infrastructure and content.
OSF is asking all current ticket holders for canceled shows, if they are able, to consider donation of those funds at this dire time throughout the arts industry. Patron donations will help pay for the costs of keeping OSF running in its scaled-back capacity as well as OSF Digital initiatives, producing the Fall 2020 shortened season, and preparing for the 2021 season.
OSF is committed to a better future for the arts by aligning the goals of theatrical art with innovation, engagement, and access for all.