The 2008 Daedalus Project

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will hold its 21st annual Daedalus Project, a benefit for AIDS/HIV organizations, on Sunday, Aug. 17, and Monday, Aug. 18.

This year's event will again feature a Sunday morning 5K Run/ Walk, a Monday play reading and a variety show.

Events kick off at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, with the 12th Annual 5K Run and Walk, sponsored by OSF. Check-in begins at 6:45 a.m. on the OSF bricks. The run winds 3.1 miles up Pioneer Street from the festival to Granite Street, cutting briefly into Lithia Park and then back to Pioneer Street.

A reading of Tony Kushner's "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," will take place at 1:30 p.m. Monday, in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Directed by Robynn Rodriguez, the reading will feature actors Tony DeBruno, K.T. Vogt, Rex Young, Sarah Rutan, Jonathan Haugen, Christopher Liam Moore, Tyrone Wilson, Kjerstine Anderson and Robert Vincent Frank.

Kushner's play won every conceivable award in the 1993 and 1994 theatre seasons, including the Tony Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Drama Desk Award. All proceeds benefit the Daedalus Project. Please note: The play contains strong language that may not be suitable for children.

The Daedalus Art and Treasures Sale will take place Monday afternoon in the Angus Bowmer Theatre lobby. The sale and silent auction includes items crafted by members of the OSF company such as paintings, sculpture and other hand-crafted works of art, signed photographs, plus opportunities including sharing coffee or a meal with a company member. Last year, the Art and Treasures sale raised more than $5,000.

The evening variety show begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday on the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion. Before the show, from 6 to 7 p.m., local band Hamfist will entertain listeners on the Green Show stage, on the OSF bricks.

Ray Porter will emcee the event that will feature guitar solos, original dances, songs, poetry and skits performed by OSF actors, company members and artists from the community. The finale of Act One is the Underwear Parade. Audience members vote with their dollars for their favorite underwear contestants during intermission. The parade has contributed as much as $6,500 to the benefit in past years.

A handmade quilt fashioned by Alice Risser of the OSF costume shop will be raffled off in the week leading up to the Daedalus event. Raffle tickets may be purchased for $2 each at the OSF Welcome Center, at the front desk in the administration building, or on the OSF bricks on the day of the event.

Returning again this year is the 4th Annual New Belgium Brewery Bike Raffle. Tickets are $2 and available at any of OSF's concession stands or bars and at the front desk in the administration building. Ticket holders need not be present to win.

A benefit sale of T-shirts, baked goods, lemonade and other concessions will occur on the bricks Monday during the afternoon and early evening hours.

The chief organizer of this year's Daedalus events is 18-year acting company veteran David Kelly. OSF artistic associate James Edmondson had the original idea for an AIDS/HIV fund raiser 21 years ago.

The late OSF Artistic Director Emeritus Jerry Turner named the event The Daedalus Project after the story of Daedalus from Greek mythology. Daedalus and his son, Icarus, were imprisoned in a labyrinth by King Minos, and by crafting wings from wax and feathers, Daedalus created a way out of the maze.

"The frustration of our efforts to find a cure need not lead to surrender and despair but to redoubled energy in pursuit of life-giving hope," Turner said.

Following each year's benefit, the Festival distributes proceeds to local, regional, national and international organizations HIV and AIDS charitable organizations. In 2007, OSF distributed funds to:

OnTrack, Inc. &

Alan F. Collins AIDS Project, Medford: $39,000 HIV Resources Center (Josephine, Douglas, Curry, Coos counties): $11,000 Siskiyou County HIV/AIDS Foundation (SCHAF): $6,000 Africare: $3,000 HIV/AIDS numbers continue to climb nationally and globally. According to event organizers, 177 AIDS cases have been diagnosed in Jackson County since 1983. It is estimated that there are 120-400 people living with HIV or AIDS in the area.

To register for the run , call 482-2111, ext. 422. The fee/donation is $20 and includes a T-shirt. Registrations will be accepted up until 10 minutes before race time. Tickets for the play reading are $15. Tickets for the evening variety show are $25 and $30.

Tickets are available at the box office, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, online at , or by calling 482-4331.

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