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AMERICAN THEATER | Oregon shakes to combine live digital programming for 2021 season

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Steven Flores and Tanis Parenteau in “Manahatta” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. (Photo by Jenny Graham)

ASHLAND, ORE: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has announced its 2021 season, featuring a combination of OSF archival streaming productions and new works for the digital platform O !, as well as live performances where safe.

The past year “marked a paradigm shift in which OSF was catapulted into different ways of creating and supporting artists and artistic creation,” Artistic Director Nataki Garrett said in a statement. “By launching our digital platform, O !, almost a year ago, the initial objective was to provide an exploratory space to intersect theater with other forms of media. Now assembled with a compelling schedule of on-stage lineup for fall and winter, O! has evolved into a landmark fourth milestone, where new and innovative projects will play alongside some of OSF’s most beloved and well-known productions.

While dates are yet to be announced, OSF plans to offer four stage productions alongside the return of the Green Show’s outdoor stage, which will offer free concerts, dancing and community performances to the public.

The first will be that of August WilsonHow i learned what i learned. Tim Bond will direct this theatrical memoir, originally performed by Wilson himself, which traces a man’s journey through adversity and self-discovery as a black artist in America.

The next step will beInvisible, by Mona Mansour, about an American photographer of the conflict who must piece together the details of her past after waking up at the site of a massacre in Syria without knowing how she got there. Evren Odcikin will lead.

The world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s film will follow Confederates, a co-commission with the Penumbra Theater, which follows two black American women, one a slave turned Union spy and the other a brilliant professor at a modern private university, in an exploration of the reins racial and gender prejudices hold still today in America. Garrett will lead.

The season will end with the first winter production of OSF,It’s Christmas, Carol!, by Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley and John Tufts. This twist of the classic Christmas tale sees three ghosts transporting theater producer Carol Scroogenhouse through time to reckon with her artistic abandonment for hollow commercialization.

Over on O !, OSF will broadcast three high quality videos from the festival archives. The first will be from 2017 Julius Caesar(March 1-27), in which Shana Cooper conducts Shakespeare’s play alongside choreography by Erika Chong Shuch. Next one will be Mary Kathryn Nagle’s world premiere in 2018 Manahatta (March 29-April 24), which was produced by Laurie Woolery and examines the consequences of commercial exploitation, including the displacement of the Lenape people and the attempt to eradicate their culture.

The final video from the OSF archives, also from 2018, will be Snow in midsummer (May 3-29), by Francis Ya-Chu Cowhig, based on the classic Chinese dramaInjustice towards Dou Yi who moved heaven and earth by Guan Hanqing. Directed by Justin Audibert, this modern ghost story combines the story of a young woman who curses her city from the grave and the story of a wealthy businesswoman who must face the locust infested city.

In addition to our archive streaming shows, ”added Garrett,“ O! will continue to present exciting new programming – digital theater, films and immersive projects – throughout the year, bringing OSF’s famous artistic art to homes around the world.

The first will be The Cymbeline project, designed by Garrett and created and directed by Scarlett Kim. In a multi-part digital production, Kim harnesses Shakespeare’s play to explore themes of deception and violence in today’s political and aesthetic realities.

The next one will be Go girl! (a working title), a new short film written by Zoey Martinson and directed by resident artist Shariffa Ali. The film follows a black actress who ventures to southern Oregon to distribute her mother’s ashes, and who must overcome her fear of calm and take control of her own healing.

OSF also invited artists from various disciplines to create short pieces of digital art as part of its 19 micro-commissions. Artists were invited to create art in response to themes taken from the acronym COVID: Community, Offering, Vitality, Identity and Determination. Commissioned artists include Christina Anderson; Scenic G / Gabriel Barrera; Kit Yan and Melissa Yi; Erika Chong Shuch; Rowena Richie; and Ryan Tacata.

In addition, O! will feature The visual sovereignty project. Curated by Chava Florendo, this new digital series asks Indigenous artists to visually express their sovereignty, both tribal and personal. The project seeks to capture a small sample of the diversity of indigenous peoples in the way they choose to share their gifts and stories with the world.

I couldn’t be more excited and honored to partner with Nataki to present this extraordinary combination of digital and on-stage programming as the OSF 2021 season, said David Schmitz, OSF Executive Director, in a statement. This unique multi-format first season reflects OSF’s commitment to innovation, agility and progress under the most extraordinary global circumstances we all face. And we can’t wait to start creating live performances again when health authorities and government restrictions allow.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, has grown from a three-day, two-piece festival to a nationally recognized theater organization that features works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals and world-first pieces. and musicals.

Support American Theater: A just and thriving theatrical ecology begins with information for all. In this season of giving, join us in this mission by making a donation to our publisher, Theater Communications Group. When you support American Theater Magazine and TCG, you are supporting a long legacy of quality nonprofit arts journalism.hereto make your fully deductible donation today!



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