Letter: ‘People will show up for Shakespeare’

August 17, 2022

“How will we keep our grandchildren interested in coming to OSF?” Peter Thomas, former development director, posed the question to a group of Oregon Shakespeare Festival donors. Reducing the number of Shakespeare plays performed was never suggested.

OSF dramaturg Lue Douthit a few years ago discussed OSF’s challenges when choosing the time period and setting for the Shakespeare plays—some people preferred contemporary times, other patrons preferred traditional. According to Douthit, OSF knew they had to be creative in presenting the canon so the OSF faithfuls would keep returning.

During my 20 years as an OSF tourist, some of the outstanding memories include Mark Murphy as Romeo; Robin Goodrin Nordii as Lady Macbeth; Dennis Arndt in the “The Tempest.” More than Ray Porter’s Volkswagen in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the lack of clothing of some of the younger actors created the most discussion.

Foolish me. I thought OSF would just continue to build, while keeping the Shakespeare plays as the core. Angus Bowmer proved in 1935 people will show up for Shakespeare.

I would prefer more Shakespeare plays.

Sue Kurth


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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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