Ashland, February 24th.  The Tony Award–winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival is off and running; watch out for flying pies because Animal Crackers is one of the eleven productions this season. It’s the 1930s vaudevillian musical farce made famous by the Marx Brothers. (Photo credit, Jenny Graham)

John Parker (Eddie Lopez) and Mary Stewart (Laura Griffith) sing and dance their love for each other as Captain Spaulding (Mark Bedard) and Ravelli (John Tufts) prepare to join in. Photo: Jenny Graham.

John Parker (Eddie Lopez) and Mary Stewart (Laura Griffith) sing and dance their love for each other as Captain Spaulding (Mark Bedard) and Ravelli (John Tufts) prepare to join in. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Captain Spaulding (Mark Bedard), Ravelli (John Tufts), Jamison (Eddie Lopez) and The Professor (Brent Hinkley) serenade themselves and Mrs. Rittenhouse (K.T. Vogt). Photo: Jenny Graham.

Captain Spaulding (Mark Bedard), Ravelli (John Tufts), Jamison (Eddie Lopez) and The Professor (Brent Hinkley) serenade themselves and Mrs. Rittenhouse (K.T. Vogt). Photo: Jenny Graham.

“This season celebrates the adventurous spirit of our company and our audience,” explained Artistic Director Bill Rauch. “I can’t wait to share these productions. They are a delicious blend of old and new, tragedy and comedy, and the vastly divergent settings will transport audiences around the globe.”  

 The timeless tragedy of Romeo and Juliet comes once again to OSF’s stage, this time in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

Romeo's (Daniel José Molina) heartache for Rosaline is forgotten as soon as he sees Juliet (Alejandra Escalante) at the Capulet party. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Romeo's (Daniel José Molina) heartache for Rosaline is forgotten as soon as he sees Juliet (Alejandra Escalante) at the Capulet party. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Director Laird Williamson has set the star-crossed lovers and their feuding families in the late 1840s Alta California—a period of California history rich with the culture of the Spanish-speaking Californios.

Romeo (Daniel José Molina) and Tybalt (Fajer Al-Kaisi) fight for the honor of their families as Benvolio (Kevin Fugaro) watches over the fallen Mercutio (Jason Rojas). Photo: Jenny Graham.

Romeo (Daniel José Molina) and Tybalt (Fajer Al-Kaisi) fight for the honor of their families as Benvolio (Kevin Fugaro) watches over the fallen Mercutio (Jason Rojas).

 

Doña Capulet (Vilma Silva) explains to Juliet (Alejandra Escalante) that Don Capulet hopes to marry her to Captain Paris. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Doña Capulet (Vilma Silva) explains to Juliet (Alejandra Escalante) that Don Capulet hopes to marry her to Captain Paris. Photo: Jenny Graham.

The White Snake, a new work adapted from a Chinese fable, will have its world premier in Ashland. In this beloved Chinese legend, a snake spirit disguised as a beautiful woman falls in love with a young scholar. The production is staged by Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman

Green Snake captures the attention of White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) and the customers in the pharmacy. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Green Snake captures the attention of White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) and the customers in the pharmacy. Photo: Jenny Graham.

 

White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) reveals her fears about Xu Xian (Christopher Livingston) to Green Snake (Tanya McBride). Photo: Jenny Graham.

White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) reveals her fears about Xu Xian (Christopher Livingston) to Green Snake (Tanya McBride). Photo: Jenny Graham.

 

Green Snake (Tanya McBride) and White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) ride the clouds to the earth below. Photo: Jenny Graham.

Green Snake (Tanya McBride) and White Snake (Amy Kim Waschke) ride the clouds to the earth below. Photo: Jenny Graham.

OSF’s 2012 season runs through November 4th, offering 790 performances of 11 productions. The season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

From Oregon Shakespeare Festival:

Founded in 1935, the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is among the oldest and largest professional non-profit theatres in the nation. Each year OSF presents an eight-and-a-half-month season of eleven plays in three theatres plus numerous ancillary activities, and undertakes an extensive theatre education program. Operating on a budget exceeding $26 million, OSF presents more than 780 performances annually with attendance of approximately 400,000.

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