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

First Friday Art walk in Ashland Oregon

Ashland’s First Friday Art Walk

art walkThe first Friday of every month the members of the Ashland gallery Association invite everyone to take a leisurely stroll through the downtown galleries to see new exhibits, meet the artists, hear live music and enjoy some delicious refreshments. The monthly walk is from 5pm to 8pm. Art walk maps are available at the Blue Moon. The next Art Walk will be on June 7th. 2013.  Come and enjoy a night on the town!

Summer Fun, ZipLining above the trees.

ziplineDuring your stay at the Blue Moon Bed and Breakfast, on one of those days when you don’t have an afternoon play to go to, why not consider a half day trip ZipLining with Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventures which has the longest zip line in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps you might like to spend the whole day out with their  Zip, Dip and Sip Tour,  the day will start with ZipLining and then a Rogue River Rafting Trip followed by lunch and end the day with Wine Tasting at a local winery.  What could be nicer!

Just a short ride from Ashland, Rogue Valley ZipLine Adventure is located in the hills of beautiful Southern Oregon.  The Company provides Guided Zip Line Tours on a progressive 5 zip line Course. You can get a glimpse of the locally famous Braden Gold Mine and many other spectacular views  as you zip along. Including , Crater Lake Rim, Mt. Mcloughlin and Table Rocks.

Enjoy Nature Walks through Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon

lithia parkThe small town of Ashland Oregon has lots to offer, well known for world class Theatre, Ashland has many other delights,  including lots of opportunities to commune with nature.  Join local Ashland residents and visitors on  Nature Walks through Lithia Park,  a 93-acre gem in the heart of downtown Ashland.

Local naturalists will lead easy 90 minute walks through the stunningly beautiful city park, every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday mornings  ( also adding Saturday’s in July and August).   The nature walks are Free and all ages are welcome.  No reservations required, just meet at the Park entrance near the Ashland Plaza at 10.a.m. and join in the fun.

You will learn about the trees, flowers, birds, climate, water, geology and history of this dazzling park.

For more information go to www.ashlandparksandrec.org

 

 

The Unfortunates… a New Play at OSF

The Unfortunates is now playing at the OSF 2013 Season in the Thomas Theatre

The Unfortunates is now playing at the OSF 2013 Season in the Thomas Theatre

The Unfortunates, A world Premier in the Thomas Theatre

We saw the play last week;  it was quite entertaining, and surprising.  A musical where blues, gospel and rap mix in the story, telling us about despair and how sad tunes can help you keep your dignity when you are in a pickle…..

Please make sure to read about the play in the  “Illuminations” brochure before going in!

King Lear at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland

carousel_1020_547_Lear_r2This is a contemporary and timeless version of King Lear. Directed by OSF artistic director Bill Rauch. Michael Winters and Jack Willis alternate performances as King Lear.

We saw Jack Willis as King Lear, we first saw him last season as LBJ in All the Way. He was very powerful as LBJ and equally so as King Lear.

This is a modern and spare production (at one point Lear watches a flat screen TV)  Lear asks his daughters ” who loves me best ” Cordelia his youngest daughter will not play the game and is banished.  I wanted to see more of Codelia played by Sofia Jean Gomez in her first season at OSF, but she only appears at the beginning and end of the play.

The Thomas Theatre is very intimate and the intensity of the story makes us the audience feel like part of the action in this often gory and emotional play.

12th Annual Film Festival in Ashland Oregon

AIFF2013[1]

Festival starts on April 4th until April 8th.  Last Year I saw the award winning ”Ethel” a documentary about Ethel Kennedy made by her youngest daughter Rory.

This year there are 91 films, on a  wide variety of subjects and from many different countries. Documentaries, short films and feature length films, many of these are world premiers.

These are films that you will probably not see anywhere else but here in Ashland. There is something for everyone.

For more information, go to: www.ashlandfilm.org

My Fair Lady at OSF in Ashland Oregon

Lady_Now_Playing_746x420George Bernard Shaw’s play  “Pygmalion”  comes to life in Oregon Shakespeare Festivals ” My Fair Lady”.

I have always loved this story of  a working class girl Eliza Doolittle who meets an upper class Professor  Henry Higgins outside a Theatre where she is selling flowers. With the help of the  wonderful music of Lerner and Loewe we are transported to early 1900′s London.

In this production there are all of  the songs that we love and are familiar with.  Rachael Warren as Eliza has a beautiful voice  and Jonathan Haugen as Henry Higgins has great comic timing and a much better voice than Rex Harrison in the film version. I especially loved Ken Robinson as Freddy Eynsford-Hill he was a real hoot.

The musical is a sheer delight, it had me hooked at the very beginning. I came out of the Theatre singing ” I could have danced all night ” and as the next line of the song goes I would have begged for more. Three hours was not enough for me I did wish for more.

Taming of the Shrew at the Bowmer Theatre in Ashland

taming of the shrewThis thoroughly modern version of Shakespeare’s comedy “ The Taming of the Shrew ” is a sheer delight. I loved every minute of it, with it’s contemporary references and Rockabilly band.

It’s a fresh, fun romp full of slap stick humor and foot tapping music.

Run, don’t walk to the box office to get your ticket’s you won’t be disappointed.

Chamber Music Concerts at Southern Oregon University

Calder String QuartetSouthern Oregon University presents the Calder String Quartet who have been called “outstanding” and “superb”by the New York Times. They will perform works by Stravinsky, Ades and Beethoven on Friday March 1st 2013 at 7:30 pm. Also the Quartet will performs works by Ben Johnson, Terry Riley and Beethoven on Saturday March 2nd 2013 at 3pm.

This Chamber Music concerts take place in the Recital Hall at the Southern Oregon University at 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. Ashland Oregon,

Tickets can be purchased online at www.chambermusicconcerts.org

Stay with us at the Blue Moon Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the show.

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