Archives for BardStage

Words, words, words…

One of the more discussed (at least in my hearing) choices made by Bill Rauch in the 2010 production of Hamlet has been the casting of deaf actor Howie Seago as the Ghost. Now, I’m suspecting that at some point this sort of thing will cease to be considered a Big Deal; rather like racial-blind casting, which has been the norm at the OSF for some time and now inspires remark mostly from newbies—folks who haven’t yet caught on that theatre is by nature a far more metaphorical and poetic medium than, say, the movies; that, as Henry V‘s Chorus
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The Play-before-the-Play

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Once again I urge readers who have not yet seen the production, but who are planning to, to stop reading now: I will be discussing some of the more surprising elements of the production and have no wish to spoil anyone’s delight in discovery. (For tickets, go here.) First off, you know as soon as you enter the Bowmer theatre that you’re in for something a little different, for the audience members attending Bill Rauch’s production (many of whom are no doubt familiar with Hamlet and its famous “play-within-a-play”) are treated to something of a “play-before-the-play”: Young Hamlet
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Antic Disposition: OSF 2010 Hamlet

starring Dan Donohue directed by Bill Rauch When it was announced back in the summer of 2009 that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2010 season would include a Hamlet directed by Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, Clan Murphy went all a-flutter (and a-Twitter).  First off, we figured that Rauch would bring some warmth, theatricality and menschlichkeit to a play that seems to invite catastrophic Scylla vs. Charybdis production choices. I mean, how to do this wonderful, gnarly, hoary terrifying play? If you’ve seen more than three or four Hamlets, you may know what I’m saying: On the one side is the
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OSF RIchard III, 2005, directed by Libby Appel

[N.B.: I just stumbled on this mini-review on the April 2005 archives of my homepage/blog, back before Bardolatry was covering PNW stage productions of Shax as well as movies, and thought ye PNW local yokels and OSF groupies would enjoy it.] I’ve had a chance to see Richard III in the Bowmer Theatre and recommend it highly. I might add that though I’m a longtime OSF supporter, I had yet to see a Libby Appel-directed production of which I could wholeheartedly approve. Indeed, I viewed her recent Macbeth, which opened the New Theatre a couple of seasons ago, as arguably
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the NWCTC

There’s a lot of kissing & trickery coming to the Shoe Box Theatre as the critically-acclaimed Northwest Classical Theatre Company presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream. War has broken out between the sexes and it’ll take more than a little mischief to set things right again! NWCTC Artistic Director Grant Turner plays Robin Goodfellow, with Portland veterans Chris Porter and Paige Jones as Oberon and Titania, respectively. The play features members of NWCTC, including Daniel Shaw (Nick Bottom), Allison Anderson (Hermia), Tom Walton (Demetrius) and 2006 PATA Spotlight Award winner Racheal Erickson (Helena). A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays Thursday-Saturday at 7pm
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The Taming of the Shrew, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2007

Directed by Kate Buckley Reviewed by John Murphy Kiss Me, Kate Not even wet Oregon weather could dampen the spirits of the 2007 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s fiery production of The Taming of the Shrew. After the sun had set behind the Elizabethan theater, light sprinkling became scattered showers with a few spells of steady downpours. Yet only a handful of wimps (probably Californians) packed up and left, while the majority was too enthralled to leave. It takes more than a little pixie spit to drive me away from a show featuring Vilma Silva. Silva plays Katherina, the eponymous “Shrew”—a term
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Interview with OSF dramaturgs

The following is a “distilled” transcript of a wonderful chat Debra, Rachel and Maire Murphy had with Oregon Shakespeare Festival dramaturgs Lezlie Cross, David Copelin and Lue Douthit. (Lue is the OSF’s Director of Literary Development and Dramaturgy.) The chat was held July 18 in the company’s tiny, three-desk dramaturgy office, where we three OSF groupies from Bardolatry were treated to a look at a couple of highly annotated texts put together by the dramaturgs for the 2007 productions of As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet. (A review of R & J is forthcoming.) ________________________________________________________________________ Bardolatry: At one
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What Makes Bill Rauch Tick?

by Dan Murphy Based on a recent talk by Bill Rauch in Carpenter Hall, Ashland, Oregon. The mission of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is to create fresh and bold interpretations of classic and contemporary plays in repertory, shaped by the diversity of our American culture, using Shakespeare as our standard and inspiration. Incoming artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland, Oregon, Bill Rauch, intends to create fresh and bold interpretations of plays—true to the playwright’s vision and made relevant to our time and place. Rauch’s artistic vision and leadership has several clear-cut contours. 1. Reaching diverse audiences:
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As You Like It, Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2007

Directed by J.R. Sullivan reviewed by John Murphy Ah, just As You Like It. The Bard’s perennial crowd-pleaser comes to vivid, exuberant life in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2007 production, running through October in the Angus Bowmer Theater. Visiting director J.R. Sullivan evokes the atmosphere of a 1930’s screwball comedy—imagine a Frank Capra morality tale filtered through the acerbic wit of Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels. The Depression-era setting is an effective concept, drawing out and clarifying thematic elements of the play. The elegant evening gowns and dashing tuxedoes of the Duke’s court contrast markedly with the Forest of Arden, a
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