INTO THE WOODS, FAT HAM & More Set for Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2025 Season

The season will also feature As You Like It, and more.

By: May. 21, 2024
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INTO THE WOODS, FAT HAM & More Set for Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2025 Season The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has revealed its 2025 season, which marks the 90th anniversary of OSF's founding by Angus L. Bowmer in 1935. In the spirit of "Homecoming," the theatre will welcome back its cherished producing model of rotating repertory. In 2025, OSF presents nine productions across its three theatres, including some of the most iconic Shakespearean works, reimagined and adapted classics, an August Wilson play, and a highly anticipated production of Into the Woods, inspired by the company's 2014 smash hit. These selections present an array of reflections on adventure, redemption, and the human condition and will delight audiences of all ages, March 7 - October 26, 2025.

OSF's newly appointed Artistic Director Tim Bond said, "Our 2025 season takes us into the forest, out to the frontier, and into our dreams, celebrating our freedom to live our truth and rediscover ourselves. These nine productions brilliantly highlight the pivotal moments when we face life-changing decisions and the importance of listening to our hearts."

In keeping with tradition, the season opens in the Angus Bowmer Theatre next year with a Shakespeare play: Associate Artistic Director Rosa Joshi's dynamic, physical production of Julius Caesar. The political thriller is produced in association with upstart crow collective and will feature a bold all-female and nonbinary cast. The following day, director Desdemona Chiang's unique and illuminating adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest begins performances. For this production, Chiang resets Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners to the British Malay Peninsula, a colonial melting pot of Asian and European communities. This is followed by August Wilson's Jitney, one of the most hopeful plays in the legendary playwright's monumental body of work. This powerful American classic marks director Tim Bond's directorial debut as OSF's seventh Artistic Director and represents OSF's renewed commitment to completing the last three plays of August Wilson's 10-play Century Cycle.

The season continues in the Thomas Theatre with an exciting production of James Ijames's 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Fat Ham, directed by Elizabeth Carter. This sizzling cookout comedy promises to be a wildly hilarious and thought-provoking take on the Bard's introspective epic, Hamlet. Next, director Lisa Peterson transforms the Thomas Theatre into the Forest of Arden for a song-filled, 1960s-infused production of the Shakespearean comedy As You Like It. 

In summer 2025, Octavio Solis's Quixote Nuevo caps the trio of plays in the Thomas Theatre, OSF's most intimate space. Directed by Lisa Portes, the highly theatrical work infuses Tejano culture and vibrant music into a modern comic adaptation of the Spanish novel Don Quixote. Also in summer, OSF welcomes Karen Zacarías's Shane, a culturally authentic adaptation of the 1947 Western novel that still manages to challenge commonly held ideas (and ideals) about the American West. The production is directed by Blake Robison.

In the historic Allen Elizabethan Theatre, OSF's outdoor season begins with another Shakespearean delight, The Merry Wives of Windsor. Directed by longtime company member Terri McMahon, Shakespeare's domestic comedy promises an evening of food, dancing, and dirty laundry. And finally, one of the most successful productions in OSF history returns a little over a decade after its premiere - Into the Woods is back, under the direction of Amanda Dehnert. Stephen Sondheim's magic-filled masterpiece promises a perfect evening of live theatre under the breathtaking Ashland stars. 

The 2025 season will also see the return of OSF's FAIR Program (Fellowships, Assistantships, Internships, and Residencies) after nearly a five-year hiatus. Originally founded in 2005 by Tim Bond during his tenure as Associate Artistic Director, FAIR provides opportunities for the next generation of theatre practitioners to learn from experienced arts professionals. Applications for select programs in the 2025 season will be available in the coming weeks.

"Angus Bowmer's dream must have seemed impossible in 1935, but for nine decades our artistic home has defied all logic and gone through many incredible transformations. What I love most about this company is that it celebrates our collective humanity, cultivates collaboration, creates community, and actually is "company." Cheers to this new season and the next 90!" said Tim Bond.

Tickets for the 2025 season will go on sale in the fall, with OSF members receiving presale access, followed by general ticket sales. Learn more at osfashland.org.

2025 SEASON

Julius Caesar 

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Rosa Joshi

Produced in association with upstart crow collective 

March 7 - October 26, 2025

Angus Bowmer Theatre

"The evil that men do lives after them"  

Julius Caesar returns to the heart of Rome victorious from war. But as he ascends to power, Brutus and the conspiring Cassius join forces to murder Caesar and save the great city from a dangerous dictator. In Shakespeare's famed political thriller, upheaval begets more upheaval, and traitorous actions threaten the very stability of Rome. Known for their dynamic, physical storytelling, upstart crow collective returns with a bold all-female and nonbinary cast, which, under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Rosa Joshi, illuminates this tale's ancient themes of power, loyalty, and betrayal.

* * * * * 

The Importance of Being Earnest 

By Oscar Wilde

Directed by Desdemona Chiang

March 8 - October 25, 2025 

Angus Bowmer Theatre

A comedy of (hardly any) manners  

Director Desdemona Chiang transports Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners to the British Malay Peninsula, a colonial melting pot of South Asian, Chinese, and English communities. Two rakish young men, Jack Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, opt to navigate Victorian-era expectations of courtship simply by evading them. But when their personas and egos begin to collide, the pair get caught up in a wit-fueled whirlwind of mistaken identities and romantic snafus. This "trivial comedy for serious people" reveals the absurd lengths that humans will go to in pursuit of acceptance, love, and truth.  

* * * * * 

August Wilson's Jitney  

Directed by Tim Bond

March 9 - July 20, 2025 

Angus Bowmer Theatre

A ride of redemption and resilience  

In 1977, as licensed cabs refuse to service Pittsburgh's predominantly Black "Hill District," a group of Black men run an unlicensed taxi company-the OG Uber, or a "jitney." But when the city threatens to shut down the business and owner Jim Becker's disgraced son returns after a 20-year prison sentence, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. For his first production since being named OSF's Artistic Director, Tim Bond directs a formidable cast in August Wilson's masterwork. Overflowing with the auteur's signature poetry and hilarious banter, Jitney promises to be an unforgettable celebration of community, family bonds, and the endurance of the human spirit. 

* * * * * 

West Coast Premiere

Shane  

By Karen Zacarías

Adapted from the novel by Jack Schaefer

Directed by Blake Robison

July 31 - October 25, 2025 

Angus Bowmer Theatre

What makes a good man?

Ranchers, farmers, a looming range war, and a mysterious stranger with a violent past-for good reason, Shane is a classic Western. But when the novel debuted in 1947, what set it apart was its unusual moral center: a young boy seeing the tale through his own clear eyes. And now this culturally authentic adaptation by Karen Zacarías (Destiny of Desire, The Copper Children) holds on to the heart of its literary source while widening the lens to encompass the real Wyoming of 1889, challenging what we think we know about the American West-its people, values, myths, heroes-and our own perceptions of good and evil. 

* * * * * 

Fat Ham 

By James Ijames

Directed by Elizabeth Carter

March 11 - June 27, 2025 

Thomas Theatre

A Southern-fried take on Shakespeare's Hamlet 

In James Ijames's sizzling cookout comedy, the grill isn't the only thing turning up the heat. This deliciously funny play follows Juicy, a queer Black kid living in the South. When the ghost of his dead father appears at a family BBQ demanding revenge for his murder, Juicy must grapple with the decision to heed his phantom father's advice or remain true to himself. The 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning riff on Shakespeare's Hamlet is directed by Elizabeth Carter, the 2021 SDCF Lloyd Richards New Futures Resident Artist and the assistant director of OSF's 2022 production of August Wilson's How I Learned What I Learned. 

* * * * * 

As You Like It 

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Lisa Peterson

April 16 - October 25, 2025 

Thomas Theatre

Love will find a way

The Forest of Arden comes to life in the Thomas Theatre when Rosalind and her cousin Celia escape an oppressive uncle and take to the wilderness. Disguised as a man, Rosalind searches for her true love, Orlando-who doesn't recognize her in her new persona. But anything can happen in the forest, including poems in the trees, star-crossed shepherds, and a band of exiles who become family. Identities are lost and true selves are found in Shakespeare's beloved comedy, bringing its magic to our most intimate theatre in this song-filled, 1960s-infused production by director Lisa Peterson (Hamlet, 2016).

* * * * * 

Quixote Nuevo 

By Octavio Solis

Directed by Lisa Portes

July 9 - October 24, 2025 

Thomas Theatre

A classic epic comes alive with a modern comic twist

In the fictional border town of La Plancha, Texas, a brilliant professor is battling dementia-but he won't go into assisted living without a fight. Imagining himself as Don Quixote, he enlists a friend and sets out on a journey to find his long-lost love, tilting at border patrol drones as he uncovers the truth of his past. This modern comic adaptation by OSF favorite Octavio Solis (Mother Road and 2009's Don Quixote, among others) infuses Tejano culture and vibrant music into a story that Broadway World described as "groundbreaking and new while still retaining the heart of the original"-a magical retelling that celebrates life, love, and human courage. 

* * * * * 

The Merry Wives of Windsor  

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Terri McMahon

May 30 - October 12, 2025 

Allen Elizabethan Theatre

The town that tricks together sticks together 

Sir John Falstaff-Prince Hal's boisterous drinking buddy from the Henry IV plays-has come down in the world, out of money and stuck in the middle-class burg of Windsor. Hatching a plot to hit on two wealthy married women, he's soon ensnared in love triangles and trickery, and he hasn't even figured out that his prey are now deceiving him. Food, dancing, and dirty laundry are all part of the fun in Shakespeare's most domestic comedy-and part of what makes this small town a home. OSF is delighted to welcome back longtime company alum Terri McMahon, who directs this new production with a joyful dance-filled flair.

* * * * * 

Into the Woods

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by James Lapine

Originally directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Directed by Amanda Dehnert

May 31 - October 11, 2025 

Allen Elizabethan Theatre

Be careful what you wish for

How far would you go to make your wish come true? Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (of beanstalk fame), and a baker and his wife find out when they take a journey into the woods. It's a magical, bewildering place full of witches, wolves, giants, and mysterious strangers, where familiar fairy tales tangle and twist together. Wishes come true here, but at a price. Amanda Dehnert's production of this smash-hit musical thrilled audiences in 2014, and we're bringing its hilarity, menace, irreverence-and eminently singable score-back to our theatre under the stars, where it will delight audiences of all ages during this season's celebration of our 90th anniversary.




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