Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016 is so much more than weekend of the Bard's plays. As one of the longest running and best attended of Oregon events, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival unfolds over the course of several months and several theaters. The playbill includes many of Shakespeare's works as well as modern classics.

Ashland Shakespeare Festival History and Facts

The first Ashland Shakespeare Festival took place in 1935, making the OSF one of the oldest professional theaters in America. During the course of the eight-month season, the festival produces eleven plays on three stages as well as a schedule of additional events and a thriving educational program.

The Actors Equity Theater and nonprofit organization operates on a budget of more than $26 million, performing for more than 400,000 people each year. What this means for you is a top-notch, professionally produced play performed in a community eager to celebrate the arts. No matter which one of the plays you see, you'll be treated to a great show.

Tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ticket prices depend on where you want to sit and which performances you want to see at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Discounts are available for youth tickets, and full-season passes are another option. If you want to see a performance without paying full price, consider one of the preview performances. The first three shows on the Elizabethan Stage offer preview pricing, as do the first two shows of each production on the New Theatre and Angus Bowmer stages.

Directions to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival

Located in Southern Oregon, Ashland is nestled in the Rogue River Valley in the shadow of the mighty Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains. The community is 285 miles to the south of Portland and 350 miles from San Francisco.

From Portland, the directions are simple: follow Interstate 5 to the south towards the California border. Ashland is at exit 19. The trip from San Francisco also is accessible by highway. From downtown, take Interstate 80 to Interstate 505. Merge onto Highway 5, and take that north to Ashland. Exit 19, Highway 99, heads right into town, offering easy access to the venues of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016.

Lodging near the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Several Oregon hotels, bed and breakfasts, and motels are located in and around the town. When you add in vacation homes along the Rouge River, you have a lot of choices for places to stay in Ashland.

One of these options, the Columbia Hotel, is a European-style boutique hotel in the heart of Ashland. Located at 262 East Main Street, the hotel is just a block away from the festival. Even though the hotel was built in 1910 and it's listed on the register of National Historic Places, a host of modern amenities are available. Each of the guestrooms comes with wireless Internet access and luxury linens. Guests are treated to coffee service and a morning newspaper.

Shakespeare fans will enjoy staying at the Best Western Bard's Inn. At 132 North Main Street, it's also within walking distance of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theaters. The guestrooms feature large, flat-screen TVs and come in a variety of sizes, from two double beds to spacious king suites with whirlpools. The hotel also is home to an outdoor pool and toasty warm spa as well as a breakfast bar that is open to all guests at no additional charge.

Image: T. Charles Erickson

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