Oregon Shakespeare Festival set to kick off 70th year
ASHLAND - The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will open its 2005 season, and its 70th year, next weekend with four productions including a world premiere by Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan.
``By the Waters of Babylon,'' a bittersweet romance by Schenkkan, will open at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 27 in the New Theatre. William Shakespeare's ``Richard III'' will open at 8 p.m. Friday in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
And two comedies will open Saturday, both in the Bowmer: ``The Philanderer'' by George Bernard Shaw at 1:30 p.m. and ``Room Service'' by Allen Boretz at 8 p.m. Schenkkan's new play is one of two that will premiere in Ashland this year. The other is 'Gibraltar' by San Francisco playwright Octavio Solis, whose 'El Paso Blue' was staged by the festival in 1999. Solis developed 'Gibraltar' in collaboration with seven festival actors. It is scheduled to open in July.
The season will run through Oct. 30 and will include 11 productions and 773 performances. It is dedicated to former artistic director Jerry Turner, who died Sept. 2, 2004. Turner led the festival from 1971 to 1991.
The festival's outdoor season will open in June with Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' and 'Love's Labor's Lost' as well as 'The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus' by Christopher Marlowe.