In announcing the season to the OSF board, Appel noted that choosing her final season was "exciting, challenging and poignant," and while she had to leave out several plays that she would have loved to do, she believes she has come up with a "wonderful list for all three theatres. I'm always filled with anticipation as we develop plans for the new season," she continued, "but 2007 has the added thrill of 'great expectations' as we celebrate our 72nd year and my final season as artistic director."
Included in the season in Ashland, OR, are two commissions: a new adaptation by Appel of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (from a literal translation by Allison Horsley, literary manager at the La Jolla Playhouse) which she will direct, and Tracy's Tiger, a chamber musical adapted from a novel by William Saroyan by OSF associate artistic director Penny Metropulos, OSF actor Linda Alper, former OSF director of literary development and dramaturgy Douglas Langworthy and composer Sterling Tinsley.
Tracy's Tiger, like the 2005 production of Robert Schenkkan's By the Waters of Babylon, was commissioned for the OSF company. The play has a cast of 10 actors, with three to four musicians and will be directed by Metropulos in the New Theatre.
Also in the New Theatre will be David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole, the Broadway drama about a couple dealing with an agonizing loss, directed by James Edmondson; and Lisa Loomer's Distracted, one mother's wild journey to figure out if her son has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (the play will premiere in early 2007 at the Mark Taper Forum).
The Angus Bowmer Theatre titles in 2007 are William Shakespeare's As You Like It, directed by J.R. Sullivan; Tom Stoppard's On the Razzle, directed by guest artist Laird Williamson; and the world premiere adaptation of The Cherry Orchard; August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, directed by associate artistic director Timothy Bond, with Greta Oglesby as Aunt Ester; and Molière's Tartuffe, directed by Peter Amster. On the Elizabethan Stage, expect Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet directed by Bill Rauch; a Kate Buckley-directed The Taming of the Shrew; and The Tempest directed by Appel.
In the 2006 season, OSF currently has four productions running in repertory: William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, Goodrich and Hackett's The Diary of Anne Frank (newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman) and Bridget Carpenter's UP. For more information about the 2006 season and ticket availability, visit www.osfashland.org.
Libby Appel has directed at the Festival for 14 seasons and became artistic director in 1995. Her most recent directing credits include The Winter's Tale, Bus Stop, Richard III, Henry VI, Part One, Henry VI, Parts Two & Three, Richard II, Macbeth, Henry V, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya. She has directed at numerous regional theatres, among them Indiana Repertory Theatre where she was artistic director from 1992-1996. She served as dean and artistic director of the School of Theatre at the California Institute of the Arts and head of the acting program at California State University at Long Beach.