OSF confident after sold out opening shows

OSF confident after sold out opening shows. (File Photo/News 10)

All opening shows sold out at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to kick-off the 2019 season prompting organizers to be confident of the season ahead.

"We had a great opening weekend. Great numbers," OSF Spokesperson C J Martinez said. "All opening shows were completely full."

Additionally, they're approaching 90 percent capacity for the upcoming weekend. Right now OSF has four shows on two stages:

Opening in the first month includes the world premiere of Mother Road (March 3–October 26, opens March 10) by Octavio Solis at the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

There is a rock-star cast of performers in a complex story called Cambodian Rock Band (March 6 –October 27) by Lauren Yee, featuring songs by Dengue Fever at the Thomas Theatre.

OSF starts with a Shakespeare play As You Like It (March 1–October 26) by William Shakespeare at the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

You can also see a John Waters's popular musical Hairspray—The Broadway Musical (March 2–October 27) Book by Marc O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, music by March Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, based on the New Line Cinema film performed at the Angus Bowmer Theatre.

Last year OSF lost $2 million in revenue due to impacts from the smoke which also moved venues and created layoffs for the organization.

To prepare for fire season this year, matinees through the month of August will be scheduled at the Mountain Avenue theatre, even if people see blue sky at the Elizabethan theater. "It's something new," Martinez said. "Matinees are going to run at the Mountain Theatre no matter what the air quality events or conditions evolve."

The idea here is the in-door 400 seat theatre at Ashland High School should not be impacted by smoke.

"That is a first for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and for the organization," Martinez said. "We're hoping that is something that will be embraced, people will be happy about the opportunity to see some of those works in a different venue, more intimate, closer to the stage and in an air conditioned, in-door venue."

Martinez said they don't want to repeat the issues last season where they turned away a patron twice after the Elizabethan venue was moved to the high school.

"The most important thing that we do, is if a ticket is sold to see a specific show is that that patron/ticket holder can see a show," Martinez said. "We want to make sure that opportunity is not missed or if they've been turned away for any circumstances."

This season the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is continuing its tradition of offering discounted $10 rush tickets to benefit ACCESS and the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

"The food drive is going on throughout the season," Martinez said. Bins will be provided for food donations in the box office lobby. People can also make a cash donation to ACCESS or the Food Bank to receive the special rush price, according to OSF.

Tickets will be on sale, subject to availability, starting two hours prior to curtain time. That's 11:30 a.m. for matinees and 6:00 p.m. for evening performances on the day of show, according to an OSF press release. Tickets will be sold at the OSF Box Office windows only, on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 2019 Green Show season will run Wednesday to Saturday evenings at 6:45pm from June 7 to September 28. OSF said updates for this program will be announced throughout the season.

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