ASHLAND, Ore. — Appearing together on a stage Tuesday, past and future artistic directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) — Nataki Garrett and Bill Rauch, respectively — celebrated an upcoming OSF 2020 Season that they call a "Jubilee year."
This year, many theatres across the U.S. have agreed to produce plays by and for the historically marginalized.
“I’m thrilled to be coming onboard at OSF as we plan in 2020 to celebrate a Jubilee year — the nationwide effort to get theaters to diversify the voices of the writers they produce, with a focus on women, people of color, LGBTQIA writers and playwrights with disabilities,” said incoming artistic director Nataki Garrett. “Although we will not waver on our commitment to our namesake playwright as we continue Canon in a Decade, creative teams on our Shakespeare productions will be sure to reflect the Jubilee spirit of voices too often marginalized in the American theatre.”
According to OSF, the 2020 season will be modelled on 2019's schedule — with a slightly later opening weekend, but earlier starts for performances at the outdoor Allen Elizabethan theatre. The biggest change, however, is that none of the 2020 plays will close before the end of the season — wrapping up on November 1.
“The artistic staff and I began to select the 2020 season last August in collaboration with over 60 of our colleagues, and our work has been further refined by our Incoming Artistic Director Nataki Garrett," said current artistic director Bill Rauch. "I could not be more proud of the plays and artists in this season that fully reflect OSF's dual commitment to innovative classics and dynamic new voices. I am humbled to pass the Festival baton to one of the most vital new leaders in the American theatre.”
Bill Rauch will leave OSF after a 12-year run as the artistic director. He will go to New York in August to help run a performing arts center on the grounds where the World Trade Center once was. He said he never planned on leaving OSF. In fact he wasn't even looking for another job but couldn't pass up this opportunity.
"I realized it was a once and a lifetime opportunity and that I needed to give it a try," Rauch added. "We're going to try to make work that inspires hope and brings people together across all of out differences there at the World Trade Center."
Nataki Garrett will be his successor for the 2020 season and beyond. She comes to OSF after leaving the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as the Associate Artistic Director and Acting Artistic Director.
"She is the ideal person to be running the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I've known her for 17 years. She's an incredible arts leader, great artist, cares deeply about community and people. She's just going to take this organization into the future in a beautiful way," Rauch said.
Over the next four months, Garrett will learn from Rauch and every other hand that plays a part in OSF.
"I'm praying for less smoke. I'm praying for inspiration. I'm praying for guidance," Garrett said. "I'm also humbled and honored to be on that path and to be invited into this opportunity from OSF's board and the search committee that saw fit that I was the one to lead us into the next horizon."
Although she will be the artistic director for the 2020 season, the season's line-up was chosen before she came to the company. Regardless, she is excited and thrilled to be a part of the OSF community and the Rogue Valley in general.
Check below for all 2020 plays by theatre:
ANGUS BOWMER THEATRE
A Midsummer Night’s Dream February 28 – November 1 (Opens March 6)
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Joseph Haj
Peter and the Starcatcher February 29 – November 1 (Opens March 7)
By Rick Elice
Based on the Novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Music by Wayne Barker
Directed by Lavina Jadhwani
The Copper Children March 1 – October 31 (Opens March 8)
by Karen Zacarías
Directed by Shariffa Ali
World Premiere/ American Revolutions
Poor Yella Rednecks July 2 - October 31 (Opens July 5)
By Qui Nguyen
A sequel to Vietgone
Director to be announced shortly
Bring Down The House - An epic two-part adaptation of Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy
Part 1: March 4 – November 1 (Opens March 7) / Part 2: March 5 – November 1 (Opens March 8)
Adapted by Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski
Produced in association with upstart crow collective
Directed by Rosa Joshi
Confederates April 8 – October 31 (Opens April 12)
By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Nataki Garrett
World Premiere/American Revolutions
Co-commission with Penumbra Theatre
Everything That Never Happened July 21 – October 31 (Opens July 25)
By Sarah B. Mantell
Directed by Jessica Kubzansky
ALLEN ELIZABETHAN THEATRE
The Tempest May 26 – October 16 (Opens June 5)
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Nicholas C. Avila
Black Odyssey May 27 – October 17 (Opens June 6)
By Marcus Gardley
Directed by Monty Cole
Bernhardt/Hamlet May 28 – October 18 (Opens June 7)
By Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Dawn Monique Williams