Plays open in Ashland

Three Oregon Shakespeare Festival productions will share a stage

By Jenny Wasson / The Bulletin

Published Jun 7, 2013 at 05:00AM

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s upcoming productions “Cymbeline,” “The Heart of Robin Hood” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” share more than themes of romance, mistaken identities and transformation — they share a forest setting, as well.

In a bold new design concept, OSF’s iconic outdoor Elizabethan Stage in Ashland will be transformed into a sylvan environment that all three productions will share. Currently running preview performances, the stage officially opens June 14.

In the past, each play produced at the Elizabethan Stage has had its own design team. This year, scenic designer Michael Ganio collaborated with directors Bill Rauch, Joel Sass and Christopher Liam Moore to create one large space that would work for each of them.

According to the festival’s website, each show will share certain aspects of the other two sets, while having a few of their own unique elements. Because the main backdrop does not have to change after every show, more details and larger structures could be added to bring the forest to life.

One of William Shakespeare’s last plays, “Cymbeline” launches the Elizabethan Stage season June 14. The rarely staged romance was last produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1998.

Opening June 15, “The Heart of Robin Hood” takes a new look at the well-known Robin Hood story, with special attention to Maid Marion’s role. This production will be the U.S. premiere of David Farr’s swashbuckling adventure.

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” opens June 16. The play is reimagined in the world of a Catholic school.

All three plays run through October.

Ticket prices range from $25 to $110 for adults and $25 to $77 for children (ages 6 to 17), depending on show and seat location. To purchase tickets and for more information on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, visit www .osfashland.org or contact the box office at 800-219-8161.