The Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2013 preview performances begin February 15, and the season will open Friday night, February 22 with Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, directed by David Ivers. On Saturday, August Wilson's Two Trains Running, directed by Lou Bellamy, takes the stage, as does Lerner and Loewe's classic American musical My Fair Lady, directed by Amanda Dehnert. Sunday afternoon in the Thomas Theatre, Shakespeare's King Lear opens, directed by OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch.
"These four opening productions celebrate the full range of stories that reflect OSF's 78-year commitment to classical work," Rauch said. "There's a heartfelt and fresh take on a Shakespeare comedy, a searing American classic by the great August Wilson, an innovative rendition of one of the most beloved musical comedies, and an intimate encounter with Shakespeare's most epic tragedy. The other productions that will open throughout this remarkably exciting season include two more Shakespearean classics, another American classic-this one by Tennessee Williams-a contemporary retelling of the Robin Hood tale, and three dynamic and compelling world premieres-all demonstrating the power and diversity of the stories we tell."
The Taming of the Shrew (February 15 - November 3) by William Shakespeare
Lead Sponsor: U.S. Bank; Production Sponsor: Jed and Celia Meese; Production Partner: Jerry and Jeanne Taylor Family Foundation
The comic love story of Kate and Petruchio comes once again to OSF's stages, this time in the Angus Bowmer Theatre-the first ever staging in this venue. Directed by David Ivers, co-Artistic Director of Utah Shakespeare Festival in his directorial debut at OSF, this vibrant, brisk production is set in a re-imagined Padua, Italy where the tangle of masquerades and misdirection plays out against a backdrop of boardwalks, roller coasters and rockabilly music. But behind the arcades is the deeply serious matter of love, roles and who we really are.
The cast of The Taming of the Shrew features Nell Geisslinger as Kate, Ted Deasy as Petruchio, Robert Vincent Frank as Baptista Minola, Royer Bockus as Bianca, David Kelly as Gremio, Tasso Feldman as Grumio, Christiana Clark as Biondello, Jeremy Peter Johnson as Hortensio, Wayne T. Carr as Lucentio, JOHN TUFTS as Tranio and Tyrone Wilson as Vincentio. Others in the cast include Catherine E. Coulson, Terri McMahon, Mark Murphey, Brent Hinkley and Andrew E. Yabroff. Musicians in the band are Evan Davidson, David Burns McClure, and Michael Caruso.
Scenic design is by Jo Winiarski; costumes by Meg Neville; lighting by Jaymi Lee Smith; music and sound by Paul James Prendergast. Lue Morgan Douthit is dramaturg; Scott Kaiser is voice & text director; U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director, and Amy Miranda Warner is stage manager.
Two Trains Running by August Wilson; (February 16 - July 7)
Production Partners: Cynthia Muss Lawrence, Anonymous Applegate Donors
August Wilson's 10-play "Pittsburgh Cycle" is one of the greatest contributions to American drama, and this play, set in 1969, is about the characters' search for a future in the face of harsh economic realities and broken promises. This not-to-be-missed production is directed by Lou Bellamy (also his directorial debut at OSF), artistic director of Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Penumbra has produced more of Wilson's plays than any other theatre, and Bellamy has directed all of Wilson's plays, both at Penumbra and around the country.