Enjoy The Bard for a bargain
Mt. Hood Community College is again offering a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for anyone who wants to see some world-class theater at less than world-class prices.
The group will see four plays, two by Shakespeare and two more modern offerings, with "Love's Labor's Lost," "Henry V," "Oklahoma" and "The Way the Mountain Moved" on the bill.
Although the trip to Ashland in southern Oregon is organized by the college, participants are largely on their own for the weekend. Theater tickets are handed out Friday afternoon and meals and other activities are totally up to the individual. The group does not usually sit together at the performances.
This year's trip is the weekend of Sept. 14-16. For a single, two nights in the hotel and the four theater tickets, the cost is $385. If you bunk with a roommate, the cost drops to $280 per person. Transportation is not provided.
Friday night's performance is "Love's Labor's Lost," one of Shakespeare's early comedies. A king and his nobles have sworn off women for three years of study, but their resolve is challenged by the visit of a comely princess and her ladies. The play is known for its witty wordplay and puns.
Saturday morning, the MHCC group will be treated to a private discussion with actors or artists involved with Love's Labor's Lost. They discuss their work and take questions from the group.
The Saturday matinee is Shakespeare's "Henry V." This is the final of four plays in Shakespeare's series on the kings of England that OSF has performed over the prior three years.
In the play, Young King Henry of England boldly claims the French throne and invades the country, woos a French princess and wins the war against tremendous odds.
A discussion after the matinee will take place in the outdoor Angus Bowmer Theater that is open to all theater goers, not just the MHCC group.
Saturday night's performance is a gender-bending production of Roger's and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" The Pulitzer Prize winning show debuted on Broadway in 1943 and features such classic songs as "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're In Love."
Sunday's matinee is the world premiere of an OSF-commissioned work, "The Way the Mountain Moved." The play, by acclaimed playwright Idris Goodwin, explores the beginnings of the Transcontinental Railroad.
Participants in the MHCC trip can take in the Green Show before Friday and Saturday night's performance. A beloved Ashland tradition, the Green Show is a free outdoor performance in the amphitheater courtyard of the theater complex. Performances range from modern dance, to flamenco to music.