Taking a Runcation to experience the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

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 Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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

“Lovers ever run before the clock” – William Shakespeare

Just one small portion of Lithia Park

First the running:

Here are a few local races to check out for your next runcation:

The location that is a must for first timers is Lithia Park. Lithia Park sits just adjacent to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is home to some great routes. I have put in some miles before and absolutely fell in love. There are so many trails available, and so many connections into the backcountry from this central location, that you can easily put as many, or as few, miles as you desire.

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 have missed live theater and know that this is a big deal in Ashland, and the entire state as a whole. The 2022 season (essentially April through October) is just ending, but there are still opportunities to make a trip to run and play. From November 23rd – January 1st, there will be shows of It’s Christmas, Carol!

How about this for a description:

On Christmas Eve, three ghosts take affluent society woman Carol Scroogenhouse through time and space to reckon with her views on love, wealth, and holiday cheer. Whisked to a Shakespearean theatre, a prehistoric holiday celebration, and a Zombie future, will Carol find her soul with the help of these apparitions? Featuring hilarious songs from the twisted minds of your favorite OSF clowns, Carol! is a fun, uplifting, and music-filled romp.

After a month or so break, the 2023 season will kickoff in the Spring with some great choices!

I was lucky enough to take in one of the final performances of the season – Once on This Island and was absolutely blown away. The Angus Bowmer Theatre was absolutely incredible and the atmosphere was electric.

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 just absolutely CRUSHED it. It was the 5-minute mile of performances – an exhilarating rush that left me wanting to tell everyone about it!

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.

Follow OSF on Facebook and Instagram, and make sure you use their hashtags on social media.

Walkway up to the theater

Dates and Times:

Varies from show to show, but generally speaking there are 8pm shows Thursday-Sunday and the addition of some 130pm shows as the weather gets warmer and drier. Most shows have some sort of pre-show or educational preface at 2-3 hours prior for additional learning about the play.

Cost: Purchase tickets here:

One awesome feature is that some priority populations re eligible to attend a play for only $25. So cool!

  • First responders
  • Teachers
  • Oregon Trail, CalFresh, and other SNAP cardholders
  • Those who have experienced financial hardship due to job loss, Covid-19, wildfires—and those who simply need a helping hand

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 Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

%d bloggers like this: