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Get Your Oregon Shakespeare Festival Fix with O!

by Kristin Anderson on 2020-07-21T15:18:24-07:00 | Comments

I am an unabashed Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) fangirl. Every year, I go to all the plays at least once (I’m crafty, as a “townie” I make sure I take advantage of all the specials they offer to make this fit within my finances). The word that best describes my feelings about the current catastrophic lack of live theater in the area is “bereft.” Yes, Oregon Cabaret Theatre has figured out how to come back to us in a limited capacity, but the state of live theater in Southern Oregon and throughout the country can best be described as “virtually nonexistent.” This means that our friends who work for OSF and other theater organizations throughout the country are on hard times, indeed. There is something special about being in a theater with other humans (audience, cast, and crew) to both create and witness art... art that will last the length of the performance and then beyond only in our memories. This experience can’t be replaced adequately in our current environment. Big frowny face emoji.  

I was fascinated by interviews that were released around the July 3rd Disney+ debut of Hamilton. One of the things that stuck with me was the feelings expressed by cast members who remarked on how special it was to see the show they were a part of creating from the audience view (here is a link to Renée Elise Goldsberry, who originated the role of Angelica, saying this in a New York Times article). Whether you are one of the legion who have signed up for Disney+ to see Hamilton or not, you have another opportunity to see a recording of a live theater performance provided by our very own OSF. Their new streaming site, called O!, currently has two 2020 shows available to rent: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Copper Children.  I was lucky enough to see and love both these plays in person before all this *waves hands vaguely around at the mess that is 2020* happened.  

We are late out of the gate with this post, but you’ve still got a very limited time to check out both of these 2020 festival shows that didn’t get anywhere near enough time to tell their stories the way they wanted to. So, if you have time between now and tomorrow, do take the time to rent one of these amazing shows (you’ll have 48 hours to view it). If you are coming to this post after 7/22 and the shows are taken down, then take the time to explore the free content on O! to get a theater fix.

If either of the plays are one’s that interest you, I’ve curated a list of resources that includes some retellings of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and some historical information about the orphan trains.

...and remember that live performing arts organizations are struggling throughout the country right now. Since we have such an organization in our backyard, we have many performing artists who are our neighbors. There are definitely opportunities to help financially if you have the means. There are also simple ways to support performing artists that don’t all involve spending money. I continue to believe that by lifting each other up and being kind we will survive 2020... and maybe even the murder hornets.

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