Shakespeare in Oregon

There has only been one time in my life I had to write “Need 1 Ticket” on a piece of cardboard and stand around hoping for charity from those more fortunate than I. 

Strangely enough, it was at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival

I’m not sure what this says about me, but it does say a lot about the festival. 

Ashland, Oregon, is just over the border from California and is the sleepy sort of Oregon town where nothing much really happens.  Well, nothing much if you’re not a fan of the Bard.  Ashland puts on what is perhaps the most well-respected Shakespeare festival in North America.  Starting February 17, and running all the way until November, the festival expects to sell around 350,000 tickets to 11 different plays. 

Unless you happen to be in the neighborhood, however, I’d recommend waiting until summertime when Oregon’s infamous rainy season is over and you can fully enjoy the 1,200 seat outdoor theater, as well as the surrounding hills, rivers, gold towns, and world-famous Crater Lake (85 miles away). 

An article in yesterday’s LA Times nicely covers the many other options in which theatergoers can indulge themselves in between plays.  It is definitely a harmonic balance that proves Ashland is one of those rare places where culture meets the outdoors and we are all the better for it as a result.