ASHLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2020 season has been canceled entirely following Governor Brown's latest plan, which included the banning of large gatherings into at least September.
OSF had already pushed back a limited version of its season until September 8 due to COVID-19, but the Governor's announcement have made even that untenable. The organization had to lay off 80 percent of its staff already.
“The health and safety of our entire Ashland community, including artists, staff, volunteers, patrons, and Festival partners, is our highest priority,” said Nataki Garrett, OSF artistic director. “It is with great sadness that we are forced to cancel OSF’s 2020 Fall season. My primary goal is to protect the future of this celebrated 85-year-old organization and to bring great theatre back to our stages in 2021. I’m thankful for the clear and sure-handed leadership of Governor Brown, and thank our local community for all of their support. We are committed to remaining grounded in the expertise of scientists and healthcare professionals who have informed the Governor’s decision.”
OSF says that it has been working on a plan for the 2021 season since the first ban on gatherings came down in March, but that the reality of canceling 2020's season will have "very real financial consequences" for the organization.
Ticketholders are asked to donate their tickets or consider a voucher for use in 2021 instead.
"Ticket donations and vouchers represent an investment in the future of OSF, the communities of Ashland and the Rogue Valley, and the importance of art and storytelling in a post-pandemic world," the organization said. "OSF is also currently running a $5 million critical relief fundraising campaign, Dare to Dream."
To review all OSF ticketholder options, please visit www.osfashland.org/COVID19. You can reach OSF’s box office at email@example.com.
"We expect a large volume of emails and calls, and we thank you for your patience as we navigate this challenging time," OSF said.