Monday, August 21, 2006

Between LA and NY is Ashland and the OSF

My wife is finishing the season here as Gwendolyn in EARNEST. I'll be here another week, but just in the little time I've been here, there's been big news: Bill Rauch has been crowned King and successor to Libby Appel as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's next artistic director.

I think this will be good for the OSF and living playwrights - as Rauch has said he'd like to add at least one more new play to the season. Here's a bit of what he said in the interview posted on the OSF site.

What is your vision for OSF in the next five years?
As a language-based theater, the spoken word must continue to take priority at OSF. I want to continue and also expand the aesthetic diversity of our work, from nuanced traditional productions to bold reinterpretations of classics. The best work in world drama has come out of company settings: Shakespeare, Moliere and Lorca, to name just a handful. OSF’s acting company is our single greatest asset. As I nourish its continued artistic growth, the acting company will serve as inspiration for at least one more new play on average per season. Our education programs are crucial. I want audiences to have not only pre-show learning experiences, but also the rare opportunity to reflect on and debate issues of civic urgency that are raised by our work. I also want to launch a major cycle of new plays that explore United States history. As the company that has tackled the entire canon of Shakespeare’s history plays (almost three times!), we are in a unique position to create vibrant snapshots of our own country’s glorious and troubled history over the last 200-plus years.

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