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Learning Theater: From Audience to Critic at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival


Who doesn't love going to a play: sitting in the darkened theater, an anonymous member of the audience waiting to be entertained, charmed, and challenged? But how many of us know enough about the details of the plays, their interpretation, their production, and acting itself, to allow us to appreciate fully the theatrical experience? In this seminar, we will spend 13 days in Ashland, Oregon, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), where we will attend these plays: Shakespeare's Henry V, Othello, Love¿s Labour¿s Lost, and Romeo and Juliet; the world premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle¿s Mannahatta; Kate Hamill¿s Sense and Sensibility, based on Jane Austen¿s novel; Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein¿s Oklahoma!; the world premiere of Idris Goodwin¿s The Way the Mountain Moved; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig¿s Snow in Midsummer, based on the classical Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanquing; and Lauren Gunderson¿s The Book of Will. (To read more about these productions, go to We will also spend time backstage, meeting with actors, designers, and artistic and administrative directors of OSF. Students will read the plays before the seminar begins. In Ashland, they will produce staged readings and design a final paper based on one of the productions. These reviews will be delivered to the group and turned in on Thursday, September 20.nnNote: This seminar will convene in Ashland on Monday, September 3, and will adjourn to Stanford on Sunday, September 16. Students must arrive in Ashland by 4:00 p.m. on September 3. Room and board in Ashland and transportation to Stanford will be provided and paid for by the program.

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