Whither OSF? Two views

Today's Voices section features two takes on the current direction of Ashland's Oregon Shakespeare Festival — one written by a lifelong festival attendee, one by Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty.

Noah Bopp is the founder and director of a private academy in Washington, D.C., where he teaches courses in English and ethics and leadership. He has been attending OSF productions for 30 years, and he is concerned about some — though not all — of the changes he saw this year during his annual visit to the festival.

McNulty visited this summer, too, and he views the festival from the perspective of a Los Angeles resident who thinks L.A. theater companies could learn a few lessons from OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch and the vision he brings to the job.

While the two perspectives are different, with one holding OSF up as an example and the other saying OSF could itself learn a few lessons, they share a common passion: excellent theater. We applaud both writers' engagement with improving a cultural resource, locally and elsewhere, that enriches all of our lives.

We offer these viewpoints in the hope that they will contribute to the community conversation that always swirls around Southern Oregon's premier cultural attraction. Ashland is filled with theater enthusiasts, many of whom live here in large part because the festival is here, and all of whom care deeply about its continuing success, as do we.

We welcome your reactions to these pieces, and encourage you to join the conversation. As always, you can send letters to tidingsopinion@dailytidings.com. To propose a guest opinion, contact Voices Editor Gary E. Nelson, gnelson@mailtribune.com.


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