Visiting Julius and Jonathan

Aug 4, 2011 | 0 comments

The Bowmer Tent Stage

     The last time we were in Ashland (about six weeks ago), we were evacuated from the ‘inner above’ during a backstage tour of the Elizabethan Theater.  Next door in the Bowmer Theater a huge supporting beam had cracked and, since the two theaters share the same roof, everyone was immediately led outside to a safe distance from the buildings.
     We were impressed at the response of the OSF folks and of the community at large.  Although the theater was closed, the plays went on in new venues throughout Ashland and within days a temporary tent theater was erected in Lithia Park.  We’ve been clapping in the wings, so to speak, as we’ve kept track of progress from Oysterville.
     Now we are back.  On a quick drive-by last evening when we arrived, we caught a glimpse of the tent.  I would love to see something there, but the Bowmer opened again a few days ago and I’m not sure if the tent is being used now or not.  In any event, our tickets are for performances in the New Theater — the black box performing space that took the place of the Black Swan.  It’s actually my favorite OSF stage.
     We have tickets for two plays:    William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and Jonathan Moscone’s “Ghost Light.”  Both are of particular interest to me.
     In this version of Shakespeare’s play, Julius is being played by an actress.    Even though I know that OSF is always on the cutting edge, I was surprised at that casting choice.I am interested in seeing if my “willing suspension of disbelief” will be willing enough. 
     “Ghost Light” is based upon Jonathan’s own experiences in the aftermath of his father’s death back in 1978.  Jonathan — now Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater — was fourteen when his father, the Mayor of San Francisco, and Commissioner Harvey Milk were murdered. 
     I had just moved to Oysterville from the Bay Area when those horrific events occurred and I’ve long felt that Mayor Moscone’s death was glossed over with the attention focussed on Milk.  Apparently, so did his son.
     So, let the plays begin!

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