OSF announces performance schedule for 2011 season

Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta "The Pirates of Penzance," a stage adaptation of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," and Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure," "Love's Labour's Lost," "Julius Caesar" and "Henry IV Part 2" highlight Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2011 season.

Artistic Director Bill Rauch announced the season late Friday at a members-only event in the New Theatre.

The 2011 season also will include Tracy Letts' 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning family drama, "August: Osage County," staged by Christopher Liam Moore, director of this season's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

OSF is among the first regional theaters to produce "August: Osage County" since the original Steppenwolf/Broadway/touring production.

"Pirates of Penzance" will mark the first time a full-blown musical has been produced on the Elizabethan Stage. Rauch will direct.

Late in the summer, OSF will launch an original, site-specific "theater experience" called "Willful." Devised by writer/director Michael Rohd and designer Shannon Scrofano with the OSF acting company, "Willful" moves the audience around the festival campus and "explores the relationship of actor to audience, theater to community and history to vision," an OSF press release said. "Willful" will open Aug. 9 and run matinees only for six weeks.

Rauch will direct "Measure for Measure," which opens the 2011 season in February at the Bowmer Theater. It was last produced at OSF in 1998 in the Black Swan.

Also opening in February in the Bowmer will be Molière's 17th-century comedy "The Imaginary Invalid," adapted by Tracy Young and Oded Gross and directed by Young, the same team that brought to OSF the popular "Servant of Two Masters" in 2009.

Alongside this French classic, OSF will stage Christopher Sergel's adaptation of the much-beloved novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," staged by playwright and director Marion McClinton.

"Julius Caesar," directed by Amanda Dehnert, who also directed "All's Well That Ends Well" in 2009, will run in the New Theatre from March through the end of the season.

On the outdoor stage, Lisa Peterson, who directed "Othello" in 2008, will direct "Henry IV, Part Two."

Shana Cooper, OSF's 2009 Phil Killian Directing Fellow and an Ashland native, will direct "Love's Labor's Lost."

The final show to open in the Bowmer will be Carlyle Brown's "The African Company Presents Richard III." Set in 1821 and inspired by a true story, this drama captures the historical events and racial politics of two competing productions of Shakespeare's tragedy in New York City. A director will be announced later.

In the New Theatre, Julia Cho's "The Language Archive" will open at the top of the season directed by Laurie Woolery, the associate artistic director at Cornerstone Theatre and a newcomer to OSF. The play, winner of the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, is a comedy about love and miscommunication and a linguist who finds that words might not be enough to salvage a marriage.

Also in the New Theatre will be the world premiere of "Ghost Light," conceived and developed by Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone, and written by Tony Taccone. The play is an intimate memoir about a son's love for and loss of his celebrated father, George Moscone, who was assassinated in 1978.

A co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the play will be directed by Moscone, artistic director of California Shakespeare Theater. The production is the second play to be produced as part of the series of commissions for American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, announced in June 2008. After closing at the end of OSF's season, the play will move to Berkeley Rep.

The 2011 season will begin previews on Feb. 18 and open the weekend of Feb. 25-27. The previews for performances on the Elizabethan Stage will begin May 31. Opening weekend is June 10-12. The season will run through the end of October.

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