Shakespeare in Oregon

Ashland is a jewel of a small town of 20,000 in the hills of Southern Oregon. It is convenient to no major metropolitan area, yet hosts perhaps the most distinguished, and certainly the oldest–75 years–Shakespeare theatre festival in America. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is much more than a summer theater, however. It is open nine months of the year, boasts two venues, and produces 11 major productions, including new plays, revivals and, of course, Shakespeare. The play we saw, “She Loves Me”, was a revival of an early work by the creative team behind “Fiddler on the Roof.” Everything about the production—sets, costumes, performances—was perfect. We stayed at the landmark Ashland Springs Hotel (85 years old and renovated in 2000), about 100 yards from the theatre. We must find a way to return for a longer stay to this town that combines art, history and magnificent scenery in equal measure.

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