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The OSF 2023 Season Announcement is Here

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2023 Season Early Announcement
 
 
 
Greetings from OSF!

 
We are writing with exciting news—we are ready to announce Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2023 Season later today, Thursday, June 9! However, because of your incredible generosity as a supporter of OSF, we would like to give you a first look at our plans before the general public. Remember, you are receiving this announcement early, and we ask that you please do not share until public launch!

We are sure you will want to know more about the exciting lineup we have planned for next year. Please join OSF artistic leadership for a special 2023 Season Preview webinar on June 27 at 5:00pm PT for a more in-depth look at the upcoming productions, with time for Q&A. Click here to RSVP by June 24. If you are unable to attend, a recording will be available upon request by e-mailing development@osfashland.org.

Thank you for your continued dedication and support! We are thrilled to have you by our side as we move toward our collective and bright futures—together.
OSF ANNOUNCES 2023 SEASON, CENTERING TODAY’S MOST DARING ARTISTS WORKING IN THEATRE AND BEYOND
 
Stirring Contemporary Works, Reimagined Classics, Adventurous Digital Productions, and Strategic Partnerships Realize the Future of Storytelling Across OSF’s Three Theatres in Ashland and on the Global O! Digital Stage
 
Artistic Director Nataki Garrett’s Vision of OSF as a Radically Inclusive and Accessible Creative Hub Galvanizes Artists and Audiences Toward
Cultural Justice and Co-Liberation


Today, OSF announces its 2023 season, celebrating groundbreaking artists shaping the future of American theatre and welcoming audiences in Ashland and worldwide to take part in the future of storytelling. OSF’s signature mix of new plays and musicals, reinvented classics, and immersive technology projects embodies Artistic Director Nataki Garrett’s future-facing vision for the 87-year-old company. The 2023 programming features an expansive spectrum of stylistic approaches and creative voices including award-winning playwrights Candrice Jones, Kirsten Childs, Madeline Sayet, and Caridad Svich; iconoclastic directors Kent Gash, Tiffany Nichole Greene, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, and Dawn Monique Williams; and multi-hyphenate artists and cultural luminaries including Troy Anthony, adrienne maree brownChava Florendo, as well as members of the OSF artistic leadership team.

OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garrett said, "The 2022 season was about recovery and rebuilding. The 2023 season is about reimagining, revitalizing, and reinvigorating. We are reimagining the future of theatre. We are revitalizing the art form by centering artists and their work. We are reinvigorating the intersection between artist and audience by empowering the artist to create transformative experiences and by providing access for audiences to engage with powerful storytelling both in person and through our O! Digital Stage. This is my vision for OSF."

The season offers three incisive looks at contemporary America with an eye towards possibility and healing. Director Tiffany Nichole Greene takes audiences to the jagged heart of Jonathan Larson’s vision of poverty, artistry, marginality, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic in 1980s New York in Rent (April 5–October 29). In the West Coast premiere of Flex (April 4-July 30), playwright Candrice Jones and director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg capture a slice of 1990s American life within an all-Black high school girls’ basketball team in rural Arkansas with humor, heart, and the adrenaline of a competitive sport being played live on stage. Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet’s Where We Belong (August 29–October 29, presented by OSF and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with Folger Shakespeare Library) marks the OSF directing debut of Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Work Mei Ann Teo. This intrepid solo work stems from Sayet’s journey to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare in England, and considers how it parallels the journeys of her Mohegan ancestors crossing the ocean across time.

Throughout the season, artists take on classic works in unprecedented ways. Nataki Garrett opens the season with her first Shakespeare production for OSF: Romeo and Juliet (April 4–October 29). Garrett considers the play’s seething divisions through the lens of class in America. Dawn Monique Williams (Merry Wives of Windsor) directs a jazz- and blues-inspired version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night that accentuates the comedy’s moodier, melancholy edges (May 30–October 15). Presented in association with The Acting CompanyKirsten Childs’ raucous The Three Musketeers (May 31–October 15) draws on Alexandre Dumas’ seldom-cited French-Haitian heritage and the fact that, as director Kent Gash (Comedy of Errors) describes, "it springs from a Black imagination." OSF Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming Evren Odcikin highlights the poetic and queer theatricality of Federico García Lorca’s Yerma with songs, puppets, and epic storytelling in a world premiere of adaptation by Caridad Svich (August 29–October 29).

In Fall 2023, OSF premieres a groundbreaking To Feel A Thing - A Ritual for Emergencecommissioned by OSF and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Created by globally-renowned author and poet adrienne maree brown (Emergent StrategyPleasure Activism) in collaboration with composer and Fire Ensemble Artistic Director Troy Anthony, and presented at OSF’s Allen Elizabethan Theatre with Extended Reality (XR) integrations, these songs and sacred acts inspired by Emergent Strategy feature a choir and live band and invite audiences to explore how we can be in the right relationship to change.

In the summer and fall, OSF will bring back its annual Green Show, featuring free live music, dance, and other performances on the Bricks in Ashland, OR. Programming will be announced as the series approaches.

Closing the in-person season is the return of OSF’s new holiday tradition It’s Christmas, Carol!, a hilarious play with lots of songs by Mark BedardBrent Hinkley, and John Tufts; directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. The celebration takes over the Bowmer stage in November-December 2023.

Multimodal, mixed-discipline projects and the development of new work are central to Nataki Garrett’s vision for the future of OSF, the theatre field, and the cultural landscape at large. OSF’s O! Digital Stage celebrates innovation and intersectionality through immersive technology projects that elasticize the definition of theatre and radically broaden access to its transformational power. OSF presents the third annual edition of Quills Fest, a festival exploring the intersection of live performance and Extended Reality (Fall 2023), featuring world-premiere commissions created by interdisciplinary teams of theatremakers and creative technologists.

OSF’s O! Digital Stage continues to serve as a public agora for ongoing commissioning projects and strategic partnerships. Artist, curator and creative producer Chava Florendo leads Visual Sovereignty Project, a digital commissioning initiative that centers the artistic, personal, and tribal sovereignty of Indigenous artists, transcending normative expectations about "what is native work." OSF’s two-year partnership with Black Lives Black Words International Project (Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Reginald Edmund) will culminate in a hybrid in-person-and-digital screening event celebrating the two films in the Films for the People series, created by groundbreaking Black writers and creatives filmed in beloved Black-owned businesses in San Francisco/Bay Area and Houston. With the Theatre on Film initiative, whose inaugural, 2022 edition launches this summer, OSF welcomes global audiences into the organization’s celebrated artistry through live-hosted screenings, on the O! Digital Stage, of cinematic captures of select in-person repertory productions. The series will continue throughout 2023.

OSF 2023 Season Schedule and Descriptions

Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Nataki Garrett
Angus Bowmer Theatre
April 4 – October 29, 2023

One of the most famous stories of young love explodes with intense passion in this contemporary production — as two star-crossed lovers from two different families and backgrounds sacrifice all to be together. Artistic Director Nataki Garrett sets her first Shakespeare production at OSF on the West Coast and explores the financial and class divisions of our current time through this beloved tale.

Rent
Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene
Angus Bowmer Theatre
April 5 – October 29, 2023

In this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, a group of young artists fights for justice and visibility during the AIDS crisis, drawing strength from the beautiful bonds of friendship and chosen family. With its profound message of joy and hope in the face of uncertainty, this iconic musical reminds us to measure our lives with what truly matters — love.

West Coast Premiere
Flex
By Candrice Jones
Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg
Thomas Theatre
April 4 – July 30, 2023

It’s 1997 and the WNBA is changing the game. Every player on Plainnole’s Lady Train basketball team now dreams of going pro—but first, they’ll have to navigate the pressures of being young, Black and female in rural Arkansas. Will their fouls off the court tear their team apart? Or can they keep their pact to stick together through hell or high water? With all the adrenaline of a four-quarter game, Candrice Jones’s powerful and poetic play celebrates the fierce athleticism of women’s basketball.

Twelfth Night
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Dawn Monique Williams
Allen Elizabethan Theatre
May 30 – October 15, 2023

Shakespeare’s hilarious yet heart-breaking tale of unrequited love takes over the Allen Elizabethan stage! A ship is wrecked on the rocks: Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. In a production by Dawn Monique Williams (Merry Wives of Windsor) inspired by early Blues and Jazz greats like Bessie Smith, music is the food of love and nobody is quite what they seem.

The Three Musketeers
Written by Kirsten Childs
Inspired by Alexandre Dumas
Directed by Kent Gash
Presented in Association with The Acting Company
Allen Elizabethan Theatre
May 31 – October 15, 2023

An inspiring tale filled with laughter and adventure, The Three Musketeers is a reminder to all that courage, honesty, and valor can change the world. Kirsten Childs’s adaptation finds its inspiration in the oft-ignored fact that writer Alexandre Dumas was of French-Haitian heritage, and award-winning director Kent Gash (Comedy of Errors) playfully mixes swagger and swashbuckle with his all-Black cast.

World premiere
Yerma
A Tragic Poem in Three Acts
By Federico Garcia Lorca
In an Adaptation by Caridad Svich
Directed by Evren Odcikin
Angus Bowmer Theatre
August 29 – October 29, 2023

In Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece in a poetic adaptation by Cuban-American playwright Caridad Svich, a young woman stuck in a loveless marriage is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire for love and yearning for a child. Inspired by Lorca’s queerness and the stunning dreamscapes of his poetry, Associate Artistic Director and Director of Artistic Programming Evren Odcikin imagines a theatrical production with songs, puppets, and epic storytelling.

Where We Belong
Written and performed by Madeline Sayet
Directed by Mei Ann Teo
Presented by OSF and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
In Association with Folger Shakespeare Library
Thomas Theatre
August 29 – October 29, 2023

In 2015, Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet moved to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare, grappling with the question of what it means to remain or leave, as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the UK from the wider world.  Moving between nations that have failed to reckon with their ongoing roles in colonialism, she finds comfort in the journeys of her Native ancestors who had to cross the ocean in the 1700s to help her people. In this intimate and exhilarating solo piece, Madeline asks us what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world. This production marks the OSF directing debut of Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Work Mei Ann Teo.

Quills Fest 2023
OSF’s O! Digital Stage
Fall 2023


OSF’s Quills Fest returns for a third year, featuring a bespoke Virtual Reality exhibition space built by OSF’s Creative Technologists in Residence and a slate of world-premiere XR projects that boldly explores the future of storytelling. Quills Fest is OSF’s annual festival at the intersection of Live Theatre and Extended Reality, engaging artists and audiences around the world on the web, in virtual reality and in person—in pop-up VR hubs across cities. Exhibitions, performances, and discussions feature the most adventurous voices in performance and immersive technology.

Films for the People
OSF’s O! Digital Stage

Fall 2023

Black Lives Black Words International Project, led by Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway and Reginald Edmund, continues this trailblazing partnership with OSF to produce "Films for the People," a series of world-premiere one-person short films by groundbreaking Black writers and creatives filmed in beloved Black-owned businesses in San Francisco/Bay Area and Houston. This hybrid project interweaving theatre and film connects Black arts and the communities they serve to celebrate the talent, resilience, and presence of Black artists, leaders and communities across America.

To Feel A Thing - A Ritual for Emergence
By adrienne maree brown
In Collaboration with Troy Anthony
Allen Elizabethan Theatre
Fall 2023

This is the world premiere of To Feel A Thing - A Ritual for Emergence by internationally renowned author and poet adrienne maree brown (Emergent StrategyPleasure Activism) in collaboration with Troy Anthony, composer and Artistic Director of the Fire Ensemble. Featuring a large choir and gospel band, these songs and sacred acts are rooted in the values and lessons found in brown’s book, Emergent Strategy and invites listeners to find their own transformation and liberation as we explore the question "How can we get in right relationship with change?" Commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis.

Visual Sovereignty Project
Various Public Spaces on the OSF Campus, and on OSF’s O! Digital Stage

Throughout the Season

Visual Sovereignty Project is a digital commissioning project that recognizes Indigenous people have a story to tell, "for us, by us, now us." Curated and produced in partnership with Chava Florendo, Visual Sovereignty Project decolonizes O! by transcending normative expectations about "what is native work?" through artistic, personal and tribal sovereignty. Interdisciplinary teams of Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island will create digital interpretations of traditional stories. Visual Sovereignty Project will claim spaces across theater lobbies and public space on OSF’s campus throughout the year, and also be viewable on the O! Digital Stage.

Theatre on Film
OSF’s O! Digital Stage
Throughout the Season

OSF’s new Theatre on Film initiative invites global audiences to experience OSF’s celebrated artistry in their homes. As a central part of OSF’s commitment to expanding access to the transformational power of theatre, select in-person productions in the repertory season will be cinematically captured and made available online on the O! Digital Stage, through an interactive portal that reimagines and expands the definition of live theatre.

Credits

OSF's 2023 Season is possible thanks to the extraordinary generosity of its supporters. For a complete list of donors, visit osfashland.org.

About OSF

Led by Artistic Director Nataki Garrett and Executive Director David Schmitz, OSF expands access to the transformational power of art and art-making. A global entity and an ever-evolving container for the future that responds to changing tides, the organization is committed to co-liberation through radically inclusive, accessible, and collaborative practices. OSF centers and nurtures artists and multimodal, multidisciplinary work.

OSF was founded in 1935 and has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents a rotating repertory season of up to eight plays and musicals, including both classics and new work. OSF productions have been presented on Broadway, internationally, and at regional, community, and high school theatres across the country. In 2020, the organization launched O!, its new digital stage featuring performances of groundbreaking art and mind-expanding discussions that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. O! attracts more than 10,000 views per month from audience members in over 50 countries.
 
 
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We believe the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. We are committed to diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences.
 
OSF is a public charity as outlined in section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax Exempt ID: 93-0407022. Production images are property of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and are not to be copied without permission.
 
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, OR 97520, United States


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