The Oregon Shakespeare Festival Board of Directors announced today the generous donation of $4.5 million from a group of donors comprised of The Goatie Foundation, Roberta and David Elliott, and Helen and Peter Bing.
The gift answers a challenge issued 10 years ago when Jo Lynn Allen of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the lead donor for the construction of OSF's New Theatre, passed on the opportunity to name the theatre, issuing the requirement for other donors to make a significant contribution to secure the naming rights. The Combined gift from the above group of donors meets the Allens' threshold, and gives them the naming rights.
At the request of the group of donors, in 2013 the New Theatre will officially become the Thomas Theatre, in honor of longtime OSF Development Director Peter D. Thomas, who died in March 2010.
The donor affiliated with The Goatie Foundation had the original impulse to honor Thomas's legacy and reached out to the other two supporters to join her in naming the New Theatre in Thomas's honor.
The President of The Goatie Foundation said "For many OSF patrons, Peter was our personal connection to the art and the artists at OSF. His kind spirit and dedication to the audience made us feel part of the OSF family. My love of Peter combined with my passion for the work on stage inspired this gift."
The gift of $4.5 million will support the OSF Artistic Opportunity Fund (AOF) and the creation of a new rehearsal center that will be housed in the current OSF production building on Second Street in downtown Ashland.
The new facility will be named the Hay Patton Rehearsal Center in honor of Senior Scenic and Theatre Designer Richard L. Hay, a 55-year veteran of the company, and OSF's first general manager and executive director William Patton, who died in January 2011.
Rudd Johnson, President of OSF's Board of Directors, said, "On behalf of the Board of Directors, we deeply appreciate the generosity, vision and support of this group of donors. Their love of OSF is matched by the spirit, commitment and passion of the remarkable company members for whom the New Theatre and the future Rehearsal Center will be named."
The transformation of the current OSF production building into the new rehearsal center is contingent on OSF finding a new location for its production building. Various possibilities continue to be explored for the location of the new building.
Visit www.osfashland.org for more information.