Tag Archives: theatre

Because Oregon Shakespeare Festival

13 Oct

Hello fellow fanpeople!

I recently returned from a journey to Ashland, OR, for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

A festival, I might add, that I have been looking forward to for over a year. You can call me obsessive, but hey, at least it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. This festival has managed to be one of the highlights of every year since I started going in 2010, and it never disappoints.

To contain my fangirling into reasonable portions, this is one of two Ashland-flavored posts. This one is made up of emotions-fueled, unprofessional reviews of the plays I got to see this year, and the next post is my emotions-fueled, unprofessional personal experience.


my fair lady

I adored this production; it’s one of my favorites that I’ve ever seen in Ashland (and that’s saying quite a lot). Casting was fantastic, the choreography was superb, the stage direction was beautiful, and the lines were marvelous. Of course, Rachael Warren was just a darling as Eliza, and Jonathan Haugen’s (Henry Higgins) impersonation of a pouting seven-year-old completely done me in (that was a reference; please don’t judge me, I promise I can speak).

The singing was marvelous, and, at least in my opnion, did Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn (or Julie Andrews, depending on which records you prefer) very proud indeed.

And I should probably mention the cripplingly enchanting chemistry between Eliza and Henry, because if I didn’t, I would be leaving out a good seventy-five percent of the play.

Chemistry, people.

Also, feels. All of the feels. I wish I was exaggerating, but I assure you I am not. I was an emotional wreck (in the very best way) after seeing this performance.







And if none of that made you want to see it, then try this: Freddy Eynsford-Hill singing “On the Street Where You Live” like an lovable stalker who’s still figuring out how to make his body do normal things like walk.

If you don’t go out and buy a ticket to this show right this second, you are the most ungrateful, wicked child who ever lived, and the angels will weep for you.


robin hood

Casting was fabulous, storyline was captivating, the fight scenes were a joy to watch, the set was beautiful, and there was a ring.

{Hold up for a minute and let me talk about the ring. A ring was hanging from the top of the set, just over the balcony. The play begins by Robin Hood walking out to the ring and climbing on.

I can’t even begin to describe how much emphasis this move put on his arms. Now, hear this, I’m trying not to sound like the annoying teenage girl that I probably am, but I don’t care how mature you are, if everyone who saw that play was completely honest, they would all admit that whatever they were looking at before he started his little ring performance, as soon as he hopped on, suddenly the sole thought in everyone’s head was

“Oh look. Manly beauty.”}

Kate Hurster was, as she always is, radiant in her role of Maid Marian (love this actress), and John Tufts (love this actor) complemented her magnificently as Robin Hood. More chemistry. More emotions. More Henry Higgins, actually (Jon Haugen made a few appearances). Even the kids were fantastic, not often a word used to describe child actors.

I’m not sure how this happened, but the night my group and I went, a good third of the audience was sighing girls, and believe me, there were a lot of sigh-worthy moments. It sounded like a hurricane in there every time Tufts and Hurster glanced at each other. And if you’ve been reading my blog for even twenty seconds, you can imagine that I felt quite at home.

It’s equally worth mentioning that the majority of the this production’s players adopted a Scottish accent for this play. (I knooow.) But the play is closed now, so if you just excitedly opened a new tab to buy a ticket, I can only offer my sincerest condolences.



This is not my favorite play by Shakespeare, but, that said, I will move along to the amazing part: Joe Wegner. I mean the actors. The actors were an amazing part.

The four lovers, Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius, and Helena, are my favorite bit of that play, and their respective actors brought them to life with remarkable talent.

Also, Joe Wegner. This man, who played Lysander, spent all of his stage time jumping around like the adorable cartoon character that he is and making the audience laugh until we could no longer hear the lines being recited. Wayne Carr(Demetrius) brought loads of charm and humor to his character as well, Tanya McBride(Hermia) was not only exactly what Hermia ought to be, but super-duper cute, and Christiana Clark (Helena) was a delight as the very pretty victim of a very awkward accident.

The set was beyond gorgeous. Sparkles were applied without a shred of moderation (see also: perfect), the costumes were a spectacle in themselves, and the fairies hung their very own moon. If you’re imagining something cheesy and cut-out, then STOP throw that image away and replace it with nothing but beautiful. Done? Okay, you got it.

All this to say: These shows were a very serious investment in my happiness.

There were eight more plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival  this season that I did not see (regrettably), but I’m sure they were equally exemplary. If you’ve been before, leave a comment and tell me what you saw!

And if you’ve never gone to the Broadway of the West before, consider it.

And If you’ve considered it and ruled it out for any reason whatsoever, try considering it again.

Repeat these steps until you find yourself in Ashland, standing on the bricks between the Angus Bowmer and Elizabethan theaters, thinking, “How the heck did this even happen?”

Because you’re worth it.