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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11 Great Regional Actors named Lunt-Fontanne Fellows

The Ten Chimneys Foundation in Wisconsin, founded by legendary theatre couple Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, has launched a fellowship program for the nation’s top regional actors. Here’s the description from the foundation’s site: In the summer of 2008, eleven of the most prestigious and accomplished regional theatres in the country were invited to nominate multiple actors for consideration to be named LUNT-FONTANNE FELLOWS. All of the actors who were nominated for this honor: have 20-plus years of experience as professional actors; are widely considered among the top actors in their community; and are widely respected by audiences, directors, and
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OSF Townhall Meeting, Monday October 27, 2008

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is hosting a free-to-the-public Town Hall Meeting on Monday, October 27 from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Bowmer Theatre in Ashland. Directors Bill Rauch and Paul Nicholson will be onhand, along with other OSF staff, for an open forum discussion. The public was invited to e-mail questions or topics for discussion to townhall@osfashland.org, so here’s what we here at bardolatry sent:
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Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2008 Coriolanus

We spent a fair amount of time on OSF’s Othello, so now that we’ve finally been able to catch all three of OSF’s other Shakespeare productions this year—Coriolanus, Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream—I thought we should take a moment, before the season ends, to make a couple of quick comments. Next year, I hope, now that we’re all moved into our new homes here in Ashland, we should be able to catch the plays (and post on them) early in the season. Huzzah! First, Coriolanus in the New Theatre, directed by the always excellent Laird Williamson, who
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The Plague of Jealousy: more on Othello at OSF, 2008

Having seen the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2008 production of Othello twice now, I have two strong recommendations: 1) See it while you still can—it only plays in the outdoor Elizabethan through early October, and, 2) Get seats as close to the stage as you can beg, borrow or steal. The Elizabethan is a big outdoor venue, best suited to broad comedy and grand spectacle. The first OSF production I ever saw, in fact, was in the Elizabethan—the 1996 Coriolanus, most memorable to me for the moment, right after intermission, I believe, when Derrick Lee Weeden—be still, my heart!—came rappeling down
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