Chautauqua 150 kicks off series

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will host Chautauqua 150 on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in various community locations. This is the first in the series of three Chautauqua events this year in celebration of Oregon's Sesquicentennial and OSF's deepening commitment to scholarly and community interaction.

The theme for this Saturday is Oregon and the Environment. The next two events will be held Aug. 12 and Oct. 24. Tickets are required for all events (paid and free) and available by calling the Box Office at 482-4331 or visiting 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

The main event on Saturday is "Now is the Time," a panel led by OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch that features a presentation by former Secretary of State and Al Gore trainee Bill Bradbury. He will speak about Oregon's environment in light of climate change developments. This will be followed by a panel discussion that includes historian William G. Robbins and Earth Matters Director Theresa May.

The event will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Mountain Avenue Theatre at Ashland High School. Admission is $5.

Other events scheduled are:

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Chautauqua Readings: The Environment, with various OSF artists. Carpenter Hall, Pioneer Street, $10

1:15 to 2:15 p.m. — "Place and History: In Search of the Pacific Northwest," presentation led by historian William G. Robbins. Free event, ticket required, Ashland Community Center, Winburn Way

2 to 3:15 p.m. — Case Studies: Creating Environmental Theatre with presentations by Earth Matters Director Theresa May, The Ghosts of Celilo creators Thomas Morning Owl and Marv Ross, and playwright and filmmaker Stephen Most. Free event, ticket required, Carpenter Hall, Pioneer Street

2:15 to 3:30 p.m. — "Past to Present," a roundtable discussion led by historian William Lang, with organic farmer David Mostue and others. Free event, ticket required, Ashland Community Center, Winburn Way

7 to 8 p.m. — Conversation: In Your Hands. Free event, ticket required, Carpenter Hall

More information about these events is available on the OSF website at Information is also available about the August and October events.

The August event will feature an open-air oration by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and Oregon native Nicholas Kristof, who will look at the intersection and conflict of values and interests across state, national and international boundaries.

The Chautauqa 150 was developed in conversation with Oregon audiences, artists and historians and reflects OSF's institutional goal of engaging and challenging audiences.

It provides a forum for cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural examination of three aspects of Oregon's past, present and future: the environment, interaction with the world beyond our borders, and Oregon communities, with the Rogue Valley as a focus.

While the Chautauqua 150 activities are complete unto themselves, they serve as a major public dialogue component of the larger United States History Cycle and a starting point for the creation of a piece of Oregon-themed theater as at least one of the Cycle's 37 plays.

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