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It's an ambitious schedule for the famous Ashland theater company; could we see in-person shows in fall?

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL - 'Snow in Midsummer,' based on a Chinese drama, is part of Oregon Shakespeare Festival's digital programming.In normal times, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland draws visitors from around the country.

It's not normal times, of course, but OSF has found a formula to schedule performances virtually and live for 2021, and will continue presenting archived shows on demand.

Because we're still in the COVID-19 pandemic — Jackson County is still in extreme risk designation — and because it remains uncertain what the future holds, OSF has scheduled original works on digital platform O!, as well as four onstage productions in fall 2021 and early 2022 along with outdoor community performances.

Wildfires are usually endangering OSF productions, and not a pandemic. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival had to adjust like everybody else.

GARRETTNataki Garrett, OSF artistic director, called it "a paradigm shift" in 2020 in how to support artists and art-making.

"O! has evolved into a marquee fourth stage, where new and innovative projects will play alongside some of OSF's most beloved and well-known productions." And there's the prospects of onstage programming.

"The first-ever multiform season reflects OSF's commitment to innovation, agility and progress throughout the most extraordinary global circumstances we are all facing," said David Schmitz, OSF executive director.

The digital on-demand stream season includes favorites such as: "Julius Caesar" by William Shakespeare, directed by Shana Cooper, March 1-27; "Manahatta" by Mary Kathryn Nagle, directed by Laurie Woolery, March 29-April 24; and "Snow in Midsummer" by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, based on a Chinese drama and directed by Justin Audibert, May 3-May 29.

New works streaming on O! are "The Cymbeline Project" by Shakespeare (conceived by Garrett), "You Go Girl!" (short film by Shariffa Ali), "19" micro-commissions and "The Visual Sovereignty Project."

Tickets are now available.

Staged performance planned are August Wilson's "How I Learned What I Learned," "Unseen" by Mona Mansour, "Confederates" by Dominique Morisseau and "It's a Christmas Carol!" By Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley and John Tufts.

The Green Show stage also could come back to life with concerts, dance and community performances.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions, specific dates for onstage productions have not been determined yet.


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