A special thanks to our student for sending us this report.
After a night of midsummer dreams, having seen As You Like It by William Shakespeare the night before, one awakens with excitement in Ashland; a quaint, tourist town in Oregon just across the California State border. Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, drawing thousands each year from around the country. Each day a new play is set up and performed with no expense spared on the costumes, stages, props or actors and actresses. The brilliant re-enacting of timeless classics such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Pride and Prejudice, The Importance of Being Earnest, and, of course, Shakespeare’s epic plays, causes Ashland to continue thriving even in this trying economy.
There are four or five plays a day, with two or three being played each day in the outdoor Globe theatre, one of the festival’s most magnificent theatres. It is a replica of the original Elizabethan theatre in which the first Shakespeare plays were performed. This enables visitors to attend two plays a day, while at the same time enjoying the beautiful scenery of Ashland, its shops and restaurants, and the great love of the arts all around the town. Some of the used book stores are a must-see because they offer some incredibly rare, classic Shakespearean books at very good prices.
At night, play attendees experience what it would be like to attend one of Shakespeare’s plays at the time of Queen Elizabeth and her courtiers. The streets are aglow with lamplights and street musicians lining some of the sidewalks, violin and guitar cases out to collect the spare change of the many passer-by’s going to and from the plays. The nighttime viewing of Shakespeare’s immortal plays are nothing short of magical, memorable, powerful and forever moving – everything Shakespeare intended his plays to be.
The Oregon Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Oregon is truly the best way to enjoy the plays of Shakespeare at their finest and in the most pleasurable environment. For more information, please visit: