Plays in local theaters: Oct. 6, 2011

ASHLAND NEW PLAYS FESTIVAL: Staged readings of four plays, "Countdown to the Happy Day" by Thomas W. Stephens of Lynchburg, Va.; "Couples" by Gary Dontzig of Santa Fe, N.M.; "Fernando" by Steven Haworth of Garrison, N.Y.; and "Spin, or Twilight of the Bohemians" by Carol Verburg of San Francisco, will be presented Wednesday through Thursday, Oct. 19-23, at the Unitarian Center, 87 Fourth St., Ashland. Tickets cost $15 for each reading and are available at, Paddington Station, by or by calling 541-488-7995.

ATELIER STAGE 2: Political controversy over the subject of global warming and romantic tension are at the center of Ashland playwright Fred Tonge's new drama, "Change of Climate." Atelier Stage 2 and ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum will team up to present readings at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, Oct. 9-10, at ScienceWorks Theatre, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland. Actors David Gabriel, Will Churchill, Tim Kelly, Gwenne Wilcox, Casey Faubion, Rochelle Savitt and Alyssa Leighy Smith will read, and slides and video will be combined with the dramatic action. Greg Younger directs. Admission is $10 at the door. See

OREGON CABARET THEATRE: First and Hargadine streets, Ashland. For tickets, visit the box office, see or call 541-488-2902. Gourmet dinners are available at 6:30 p.m. for evening shows, and brunch is available at 11:30 a.m. for Saturday and Sunday matinees. Ticket prices do not include food or beverages.

what a glorious feeling: Take a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of "Singin' in the Rain" in Jay Berkow's new play with music and dance. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 6. Tickets cost $31 for Thursday evenings, $35 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $29 for Saturday and Sunday matinees, $25 for Sunday evenings and $16 for bistro seating.

OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. Visit or call 541-482-4331 for show times and ticket information.

henry IV, Part Two: Anarchy looms, rebellion reignites and loyalties turn on a dime in William Shakespeare's dark continuation of Henry IV's story. The antics of a degenerated Sir John Falstaff and betrayals in court cast a shadow on Prince Hal as he struggles to prove to his dying father — and himself — that he can be the ruler the country desperately needs. Lisa Peterson directs. The play runs through Oct. 7 on the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion.

the pirates of penzance: A day at the beach for the daughters of Maj. Gen. Stanley provides the pirate Frederic and his mates an opportunity to wed with impunity. Then duty, filial and otherwise, threatens to scuttle love and aid catastrophe. Arthur Sullivan's and W. S. Gilbert's musical comedy fires a few broadsides at social stuffiness in this rollicking operetta that abounds in music, comical paradox and wit. Bill Rauch directs. The show runs through Oct. 8 on the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion.

WILLFUL: Audience members' level of presence and participation will drive OSF's site-specific theater project, a brainchild of Portland-based Sojourn Theatre's Michael Rohd and Shannon Scrofano. A group of OSF actors will guide ticket holders through an interactive form of theater that explores experiential performance. The journey begins at the Allen Pavilion. The show runs through Oct. 9.

LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST: Instinct wrestles intellect in William Shakespeare's comedy about the passage into adulthood. The King of Navarre and his buddies, in a zealous moment of idealism, turn to their books, swearing off less civilized pursuits — namely, girls. When a high-spirited princess and her attendants arrive, the young men find that infatuation, adolescent pranks and playful confusion lead to serious matters and reveal the cost of real love. Shana Cooper directs. The play runs through Oct. 9 on the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion.

The African Company Presents Richard III: When a company of black free actors dare open at the same time as New York City's premier theater lifts the curtain on its own "Richard III," there is no room for competition. Based on a real incident, this play is a must-see for Shakespeare and theater history lovers. Seret Scott directs. The play runs through Nov. 5 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY: American playwright Tracy Letts introduces American theater's newest twisted family, the Westons, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning comic tragedy. The New York Times calls the play "the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years." Christopher Liam Moore directs. The play runs through Nov. 5 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

GHOST LIGHT: Jon is a theater director haunted by the assassination of his father, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. When asked to stage a production of "Hamlet," the ghost of the king stalks Jon's mind and heart, and he must confront his feelings. Laced with poetry and wit, the play is rooted in a crime that changed a city — and a young boy — forever. Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone's premiere play runs through Nov. 5 in the New Theatre. Moscone directs.

JULIUS CAESAR: William Shakespeare's tragedy looks at the complex nature of government and the fallibility of those in power. OSF casts Vilma Silva in the role of Caesar. The adoring commoners of Rome would have her crowned, but fellow politicians debate her ambition. Tormented by uncertainty and driven by questionable motives, they plot an assassination. Amanda Dehnert directs. The play runs through Nov. 6 in the New Theatre.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE: Angelo, the Duke of Vienna's authoritarian deputy, is hell-bent on stamping out moral decay. When Angelo aims his outdated Draconian laws at a young man whose fiancee is pregnant, he is sternly incorruptible — until he meets a beautiful religious novice whom he desires. Flavored with live music by mariachi band Las Colibri, this modern production of William Shakespeare's tragicomedy reveals what can happen when sex, religion and politics collide. Bill Rauch directs. The play runs through Nov. 6 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

THE IMAGINARY INVALID: The wealthy Argan is a housebound hypochondriac with every ailment in the book. Lurking around are quacks only too happy to treat, or mistreat, him. Molière's farcical comedy, adapted by Oded Gross and Tracy Young, gets an injection of 1960s French pop culture from the same OSF team that reimagined "The Servant of Two Masters" in 2009, along with original songs, satire and the requisite bawdiness. Young directs. The play runs through Nov. 6 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

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