Jan 5, 2007

Oregon Shakes

Bill Rauch has begun his reign at OSF. It's a bit painful, like all change can be, because Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Cornerstone, Rauch's former company, are among my two favorite theater organizations. So there are familiar and beloved names both among those leaving and those coming: Penny Metropulos, Tim Bond, Bill Bloodgood (leaving), and Chris Acebo, Alison Carey, Luis Alfaro (coming in). I trust Rauch's vision, and pray I can find some media institution willing to foot the bill so I can actually witness some of it take shape next year.


Anonymous said...

Original history plays? Does he mean like more of The Kentucky Cycle? That would not be exciting to see.

Rob Kendt said...

Given that Northwest-based playwright Robert Schenkkan has already been staged to excellent effect by Rauch at OSF (Handler, By the Waters of Babylon), I think it's safe to say he'll be on board. And by my lights, that's a good thing; the LA premiere of Kentucky Cycle in '92 (if memory serves) was a highlight of my theatregoing life, with a cast headed by the late, great Charlie Hallahan. Never saw the B'way version with Stacy Keach (who worked at OSF in days of yore, incidentally), so I can't say if it was unfairly treated. I know I loved the production I saw. That said, there are dozens of playwrights from a variety of traditions and cultures that Bill has worked with, and I know firsthand that his vision of the Americas, let alone the U.S., is deeply multicultural. I can imagine that the plays that are born under his leadership will be accordingly diverse, polyphonic, and exciting.