Restaging the Past

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016 takes on tough social issues ranging from abortion rights to the Vietnam War

So often we accept the history served to us. We hold collective truths about our past to be self-evident: Jane Roe and her legal team were brave, honorable women fighting for reproductive rights. Vietnam was a worthless war the U.S. never should have been involved in. Classic theater works are important, but generally not very fun.  Continue reading 

Works in Progress

Oregon Performance Lab returns with teens, motorcycles and beer

Beer playwright Nick Leavens with actress Laura Ramadei

Oregon Performance Lab is back for its second summer of theater workshops, bringing rising playwrights of America to Eugene. Described as a “three-week pop-up laboratory,” OPL connects artists with venues, actors and an audience for theatrical experimentation. The wife-and-husband team of Willow Norton (artistic director) and Corey Pearlstein (creative director) are based in New York but have roots in Eugene. On the heels of last year’s successful inaugural season, now they are fueling even more ambitious plans. Continue reading 

Great Expectations

Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens 81st season with beloved classics and world premieres

As the tilted Earth spins and progresses through her orbit, late February brings light and warmth flooding back to us. But spring is not the only fresh thing bubbling up from all points the south. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland soon greets the lengthening days, buzzing with new stories that are beautifully staged. Under the artistic direction of Bill Rauch, the internationally renowned festival’s 81st season boasts first-run plays, elegant classics and a commitment to bringing a broader world perspective to the stage.  Continue reading 

Attempting to Dress

The Very Little Theatre bares all with Love, Loss and What I Wore

Jodi Altendorf In Love, Loss And What I Wore

You just want a bra. You want to get in, buy a bra and get on with your life. But the next thing you know you’re shoved into some tiny space halfway between a broom closet and a dressing room with a powerfully strong older lady. Aggressively this woman bends you over and pulls you up and actually, physically pushes your breasts around with her hands, then calls the other women in the shop over to have a look. You have lost all dignity. But you have found a really great-fitting bra. Continue reading 

Holiday Treats

Local theaters hit the stage with a whirl of winter classics

A Christmas Carol at Actors Cabaret of Eugene

What is it about the encroaching cold and dark that sends us shivering out into the night in search of a collective theater experience? Local theaters can smell our desire, and like an expert patisserie, they set out the most familiar, uplifting theatrical fare to tempt us. There will be no angst-ridden, painful social statements made on stage this December. The holiday theater season is about warm, familiar classics to satisfy an audience hungry for community and tradition. Continue reading