Make a Day of It: Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Open to the sky, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre seats 1,200 people. Featured in the photo is the 2012 set and ensemble in Henry V. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

“Bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” – William Shakespeare

“Lovers ever run before the clock” – William Shakespeare

First the running:

Here are a few local races to check out for your next run-cation:

The location that is probably a must for first timers is to run and explore Lithia Park. I have put in some miles before and absolutely fell in love. There are so many trails available, and so many connections from this central location that you can easily put as many or few miles as you desire. In fact Lithia Park is actually home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Now to the details to the experience itself:

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been something that I have always wanted to attend. I am far from a Shakespeare buff, but I love live theater and know that this is a big deal in Ashland and the entire state as a whole. The 2017 season (essentially February through October) is in full swing and features some great and well-known tales, including but not limited to:

  • Julius Caesar
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Henry IV
  • The Odyssey
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Beauty of the Beast

If this summer and fall are already packed to the gills, a sneak peek at the 2018 season is showing the following:

  • Othello
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Oklahoma!
  • Henry V
  • Romeo and Juliet

I was lucky enough to take in this season’s Beauty of the Beast this past week and was absolutely blown away. The Allen Elizabethan Theatre was absolutely incredible and the atmosphere was electric, even with the threat of some sprinkles (that luckily never materialized).

And it was literally as riveting a show as there could be. The performances and singing were spot on. Some humor was sprinkled in alongside the well-known story to keep things fresh without straying too far from the core. The play didn’t limit itself with gender or racial biases and just absolutely CRUSHED it. It was the 5-minute mile of performances – an exhilarating rush that left me wanting to tell everyone about it! This show runs through October 15th (and all shows end by October 29th), so time is running out to check it, and the rest of the season out.

Follow OSF on Facebook and Instagram, and make sure you use their hashtags on social media (#BeautyAndTheBeastOSF in this instance).

I also strongly recommend checking out their “Plan Your Visit” page, which will get you all sorts of great info and answers to questions surrounding parking, getting around, and what to expect in the theaters. There are also other great info about visiting Ashland, including dining and drinking options, shopping, and accommodations. Stay tuned later this week for our Make a Day of It post on the Ashland Springs Hotel!

Dates and Times:

There are generally shows every day of the week (not including Mondays). While not always on this timeframe, a general rule of thumb is:

Make sure you utilize their calendar to confirm.

Cost: Purchase tickets here:

One awesome feature is that anyone who has an Oregon Trail Card (i.e. food stamps) is eligible to attend a play for only $5. So cool!

Below are some pictures from our experience:

Many thanks to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for allowing us to check out their show! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Matt Rasmussen (1621 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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