Kathleen F. Leary has worked as OSF's archivist for 24 years; media and communications manager Amy E. Richard has been with the festival for 12 years. Using images selected from the festival's extensive archival collection, these pages document its rich onstage and offstage history. Images from the Southern Oregon Historical Society and the Terry Skibby Collection show OSF's roots in the Chautauqua movement and its close relationship with the Southern Oregon community.
Oregon Shakespeare Festivalby Kathleen F. Leary, Amy E. Richard, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
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In 1935, Angus Bowmer, an instructor at Southern Oregon Normal School in Ashland, began with a dream and a small coterie of devoted friends who believed, as he did, in the value of Shakespeare performed on an Elizabethan stage. Though the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's early platforms were rudimentary and the backstage areas primitive, the art drew enthusiastic audiences. The urgency of World War II closed the festival's doors, but in 1947 it reopened with larger theater facilities and an expanded repertory, winning the support and respect of state, regional, and national artists and dignitaries. In a setting of extraordinary beauty and a community dedicated to culture and the arts, the 75-year-old Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is among the largest and most influential professional regional theaters in North America.
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