Oregon Shakespeare Season Includes West Coast Premiere of Shakespeare in Love | Playbill

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News Oregon Shakespeare Season Includes West Coast Premiere of Shakespeare in Love New work based on poetry of August Wilson is also part of the 2017 season.
Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare in the Oscar-winning film version of Shakespeare in Love.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Bill Rauch has announced the company's 2017 season.

The upcoming season, which will kick off in February with Julius Caesar, will include the West Coast premiere of the stage version of the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love, directed by Christopher Liam Moore. The production is based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, and is adapted for the stage by Lee Hall. The play, which debuted in London’s West End in 2014, is presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions and Sonia Friedman Productions. The play is scheduled to get its North American premiere this summer at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada.

Another highlight of the OSF season will be UniSon, which features the poetry of late playwright August Wilson and was created by the Festival's resident ensemble, Universes. The ensemble was granted access to Wilson’s poetry catalogue in association with his widow Constanza Romero and his estate. The result, according to press notes, is a "high-energy, music-filled exploration of the passing on of legacy and the reconstruction of collective memory, inspired by the poetry of one of our most revered playwrights. Fusing poetry, theatre, movement and original music, UniSon gives OSF audiences the opportunity to see one of America’s leading ensembles of color bring an American master to life through their signature theatrical aesthetic—for a new generation, in a new century, a new millennium."

In a statement Rauch said, “It brings me such joy to share these eleven amazing, powerful stories with our audiences. The sense of adventure, discovery and revelation is palpable in every play. The 2017 season represents our ever-growing passion and dedication to represent voices and stories that reflect the cultural richness, and at times the painful legacy, of our country. The season also takes us deeper into our commitment to our namesake playwright and the exciting Canon-in-a-Decade project, with a particularly enticing opportunity in our most intimate theatre space. Patrons will have the rare opportunity to see both parts of Henry IV in the Thomas Theatre, perhaps as part of a same-day marathon!”

The world premiere of Jiehae Park's Hannah and the Dread Gazebo will also be seen in 2017. Directed by Chay Yew, the new play is described as such: "Hannah is two weeks away from becoming a board-certified neurologist when a mysterious package arrives from her Korean grandmother—who may, or may not have, just ended her life in a most flamboyant fashion. The package leads Hannah and her family on a surreal, comedic, heartbreaking adventure to the Sunrise Dewdrop Apartment City for Senior Living on the south side of the Demilitarized Zone (and beyond), with guest appearances from the Ghost of Kim Jong Il, a mythological tiger, and other mischievous fragments of the family's past."

The Festival will also present the Disney hit Beauty and the Beast, which will be directed by Eric Tucker, artistic director of New York City's Bedlam.

The lineup at a glance follows:


Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
February 17 – October 29
Directed by Shana Cooper

Shakespeare in Love
February 18 – October 29
Based on the screenplay by Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Directed by Christopher Liam Moore
West Coast Premiere

Mojada by Luis Alfaro
February 19 – July 6
Directed by Juliette Carrillo

August Wilson’s poetry in
A new musical by UNIVERSES
April 19 – October 28
(Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, William Ruiz–a.k.a. Ninja, Gamal Chasten)
In association with Constanza Romero
Directed by Robert O’Hara
World Premiere

Off the Rails by Randy Reinholz
July 27 – October 28
Directed by Bill Rauch
World Premiere


Henry IV, Part One by William Shakespeare
February 23 – October 28
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

Hannah and the Dread Gazebo by Jiehae Park
March 29 – October 28
Directed by Chay Yew
World Premiere

Henry IV, Part Two by William Shakespeare
July 4 – October 29
Directed by Carl Cofield


The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
June 6 – October 13
Directed by Dawn Monique Williams

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
June 7 – October 14
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Directed by Eric Tucker

The Odyssey by Homer
June 8 – October 15
Adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman,
from the translation by Robert Fitzgerald

Click here for season details.
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