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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: May ::
Re: Ashland Festival
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 315.  Saturday, 22 May 1993.
 
From:           Michael Best <
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Date:           Thursday, 20 May 93 10:33:52 PDT
Subject:        Ashland Festival
 
More on Ashland now that the mail is circulating again. I agree with
Nate Johnson that Ashland is a delight and that the audiences are not
boorish at all. Fresh (even naive, an experienced theatregoer might)
say), yes. To the actor's great delight, Iago was booed for his
curtain call last year. The character you love to hate.
 
I've been going there each summer for the last 9 years
for my annual hit of Shakespeare, and find that the level of production
--though it varies inevitably -- is competent to outstanding, and
certainly compares well with other companies I have seen at Stratford
(Ont and Eng). It's a true repetory company, and actually does do all
the plays in the canon, plus an occasional goodie from the period (a
recent delight was *The Shoemakers' Holiday*).
 
They also do regular classics and modern plays, experimental and
predictable.
 
The indoor theatre has excellent acoustics and sight lines, so you can
sit anywhere and enjoy. The outdoor theatre has just been rebuilt with
a gallery and wall around that cuts out most of the increasing sounds of
the city. The result is actually more authentic, as the shape is more
Globe-like, and the actors no longer have to act between fortissimo
and forte.
 
I've found Ashland remarkably untouristy, relative to other festival
towns. You won't be ripped off the moment you set foot in the theatre,
and there are free (and very good) performances of renaissance dance
and music every night on the green in front of the theatre. Just don't
get there on a Monday night -- there are no performances.
 
Box office: (503) 482-4331. They can send info on B&B etc.
 
Incidentally, Libby Appel, mentioned on this network recently, did
a stunning *Winter's Tale* at Ashland a couple of seasons ago.
 

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