ashland.news
July 23, 2024

OSF adds play to 2024 season, appoints associate artistic director

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Shakespeare Festival sign. Graham Lewis photo
October 12, 2023

Addition of Shakespeare’s ‘Coriolanus’ will push season out to Oct. 13

Ashland.news staff report

Oregon Shakespeare Festival-goers can expect another play next season, directed by a new associate artistic director. 

The organization announced Thursday that the 2024 season will include the addition of William Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus,” the appointment of Rosa Joshi as OSF’s new associate artistic director, and the extension of the previously announced 2024 season.

Presented by OSF and Portland Center Stage, and produced in association with upstart crow collective and Play On Shakespeare, “Coriolanus” will play in the Thomas Theatre from July 23 through Oct. 13, following its run at Portland Center Stage from April 20 through May 19. 

The play joins nine previously announced plays for 2024: “Macbeth,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Born with Teeth,” “Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender,” “Lizard Boy,” “Behfarmaheen (If You Please),” “Jane Eyre,” “Smote This, A Comedy about God … and other serious $H*T” and “Virgins to Villains.”

This version of rarely produced “Coriolanus” was translated by Sean San José in a commission by Play On Shakespeare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and creating modern translations of Shakespeare’s work. 

OSF describes “Coriolanus” as a story of civil unrest, political upheaval and a war hero who is driven to defend and then destroy his own country — a powerful message about the fragility of democracy that will resonate in an election year. San José’s modern-verse translation will be produced in collaboration with upstart crow collective, a company dedicated to producing classical plays with racially diverse casts of women and non-binary people, re-imagining these works for a contemporary audience. 

OSF and upstart crow collective’s previous collaborations include “King John” (2022) and “Bring Down the House” (2020).

“Coriolanus” will be adapted and directed by Joshi, who will be helming her fifth production at OSF. The play will be her first as the festival’s newly appointed associate artistic director. 

Rosa Joshi

Joshi’s directing work, which spans Shakespeare to modern classics and contemporary plays, has been seen in theaters across the country. Throughout her career she has created work independently through self-producing, and in 2006 she co-founded upstart crow collective.

“I am ecstatic that Rosa Joshi will be joining OSF this December as my Associate Artistic Director,” OSF Artistic Director Tim Bond said in a news release Thursday. “As a highly sought-after director and accomplished producer, Rosa is committed to creating ambitious productions of classical work featuring women, non-binary and BIPOC artists. She brings a ferocious appetite for discovery as a highly physical and visually imaginative director and bold interpreter of Shakespeare and other classics and contemporary works.”

Joshi was a faculty member for 22 years at Seattle University, where she chaired the department of Performing Arts and Arts Leadership. 

She has also taught at The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and Cornish College for the Arts. She will continue her work as co-artistic producer of upstart crow collective in partnership with Betsy Schwartz and Kate Wisniewski.

“I feel very fortunate to have such an accomplished partner to collaborate with as we begin

to build our team of artists and producers to meet the challenges and exciting opportunities that rotating repertory producing presents,” Bond said in the release. “Rosa will be a tremendous partner in overseeing the nurturing and development of our acting company with her deep training in Shakespeare text analysis, physical theater and acting training. It is also thrilling to have Rosa at the helm of the co-production of ‘Coriolanus’ in our 2024 season.”

“I am thrilled to be joining OSF to help Tim realize his vision for the future of the company,”  Joshi said in the release. “OSF has felt like an artistic home to me from the very first time that I worked there,”The dedication to artistry, the nurturing of company, the challenge and

thrill of repertory producing, along with the commitment to expanding our ideas of what the classical canon is and who gets to tell classic stories on the American stage, all inspires me as an artist and producer.”

The addition of “Coriolanus” will allow for an additional four weeks of performances for productions in the Angus Bowmer, Thomas, and Allen Elizabethan theaters.

“We’re delighted to be adding Coriolanus to the 2024 season,” Tyler Hokama, OSF’s interim executive director, said in the release. “This collaboration with Portland Center Stage, Play On Shakespeare, and upstart crow collective is truly special because it allows us to combine our resources to amplify our shared goals of nurturing artists and reaching more audiences.” 

“We’re also pleased to extend our 2024 season through mid-October, offering our audiences even more options and allowing school groups — which are critical to the fabric of our audiences — to join us at the Festival in the early fall of 2024,” he said.

Tickets to “Coriolanus” and the entire 2024 season will go on sale in November. 

More information about the 2024 season can be found at osfashland.org/2024.

Reach Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

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

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