ASHLAND, Ore., -- The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is celebrating its 80th year. OSF and NewsWatch 12 have teamed up to bring you further behind the scenes than ever before.
This year there are 11 plays, three of which are Shakespearean. Among the other eight, two are musicals, three are world premiers and one is a U.S. premiere. By November 1, 790 performances will have taken place on OSF‘s three stages. The first three plays to open in preview are Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Fingersmith,” and “Guys and Dolls.”
The first step when selecting shows for a new season is the company's namesake. Shakespeare's plays are chosen first, followed by commissioned pieces. The selection processes then moves to looking at the talent currently available in OSF. Some plays are chosen because a current actor is perfect or a director is available for the piece. Finally the selection staff must consider art versus money. There are some shows that are done purely based on the art of performance and some which are a mixture of both talent and name recognition. "Coconuts," from 2014, and "Guys and Dolls," from 2015 are examples of plays which pay the bills.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival relies heavily on ticket sales; 70% of OSF's budget comes from earned revenue like ticket sales, events, workshops, and concessions.