How did the Oregon Shakespeare Festival begin

Did you now……

ashlandThe Rogue Valley is full of things that would not be here without that lone person who had an idea and ran with it. A good example is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It took many people to create one of the nations largest and most prestigious regional theaters.

But without  English teacher Angus Bowmer born in 1904 in Bellingham Washington, OSF would not be what it is today. In 1931 he came to live in Ashland and to teach at the Southern Oregon Normal School now known as SOU. He persuaded the town to revive the July 4th celebrations with an important addition: a Shakespeare Festival.

The remains of an old Chautaugua building in Lithia Park gave Bowmer the idea of staging Shakespeare plays in an outdoor Elizabethan stage. His students helped him construct the stage, and local actors performed plays. Bowmer remained active in the theatre until his death in 1979.

And the rest is history

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