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Party People (2012): Ensemble. (photo by Jenny Graham)
By The Skanner News
Published: 12 May 2020

Ashland, OR—The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced today the cancellation of its Fall 2020 season, previously scheduled to begin September 8, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a press conference on May 7, Governor Brown announced that “large gatherings,” including live sporting events with audiences, concerts, festivals, and conventions, will not be able to return until at least the end of September, and not until a “reliable treatment or prevention like a vaccine” is available.

“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,” said Garrett.

“The city of Ashland and the entire Rogue Valley have always been a premier tourist and lifestyle destination for arts, culture, and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the country and the world,” said Paul Christy, OSF acting executive director. “Throughout these difficult circumstances, and for seasons and years to come, we are committed to working with all of our partners, community, and member organizations to revive, grow and preserve the prominence of this region that is so dear to the OSF family.”

Canceling the 2020 season has very real financial consequences for OSF. Since suspending performances on March 12, OSF teams have been working to plan and schedule a 2021 season. All 2020 ticketholders are invited to donate tickets or consider a voucher for use in 2021. 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. OSF is also currently running a $5MM critical relief fundraising campaign, Dare to Dream.

To review all OSF ticketholder options, visit www.osfashland.org/COVID19. You can reach OSF’s box office at [email protected]. The organization expects a large volume of emails and calls, and ask for patrons' patience as they navigate this challenging time.

While OSF can’t currently receive visitors on the campus, they welcome patrons to visit O!, a new interactive and immersive digital platform that extends the artistry and creativity of OSF to patrons, supporters, fans, and virtual communities everywhere. O! will be the world’s connection to OSF’s work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic closure, and will continue delivering the transformative power of theatre into the future.

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