OSF Announces Casting For 2020 Season

By: Nov. 11, 2019

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which is entering its 85th year, today announced the casts for the 2020 season, featuring some of the most beloved performers from OSF's history alongside newcomers from around the country. OSF is one of the most prominent theatre companies across the nation that have joined the Jubilee, a yearlong nationwide commitment by theatres to feature work generated by those who have traditionally been excluded from or marginalized by the theatre industry. Five Shakespeare plays staged as four productions, alongside two new plays inspired by him, take the Festival's stages in 2020. Two more commissions from OSF's multi-decade commissioning program American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle will also premiere.

"OSF has been doing Jubilee for years. But, in the spirit of our mission and recognizing that we still have far to go on the path to true justice and equity, OSF has joined the Jubilee in 2020 with an even stronger commitment to inclusion," said OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garrett. "It is deeply moving to have my first season at OSF, in its 85th year, be one that both celebrates our namesake playwright while continuing the work to dismantle hierarchies anew that reflect the equality and vitality of our current lives."

Rich Shakespeare Season

OSF moves closer to completing the Canon in a Decade with a delightful, music-filled A Midsummer Night's Dream, along with The Tempest, and Bring Down the House, Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy performed in two epic parts. The season includes two other plays inspired by Shakespeare: Everything That Never Happened, which fills in the gaps left by Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice; and Bernhardt/Hamlet, the story of French actress Sarah Bernhardt taking on one of the Bard's best-known roles in the late 19th century.

American Revolutions Cycle Commissions

In 2020, OSF premieres two more commissions from its multi-decade commissioning program American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. With Confederates and The Copper Children, 13 American Revolutions-commissioned or -developed plays will have appeared on OSF's stages.

Launched in 2008, American Revolutions is commissioning its final plays this year, each written to depict moments of change in U.S. history. American Revolutions works to establish a shared understanding of our nation's past while illuminating the best paths for our future. The program has produced Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, with productions throughout the U.S. and internationally.

Another Season of Music and Song

Music, in all its exciting variety, plays an important foundational role throughout the Festival in 2020. Audiences will be treated to a troupe of pop-star mermaids in Peter and the Starcatcher, while mischievous fairies serenade young lovers in the forest of a A Midsummer Night's Dream. In Qui Nguyen's Poor Yella Rednecks, the characters from 2016's runaway hit of Vietgone have returned, spinning rhymes and spilling their hearts. The pulse of Taiko drumming will infuse both parts of Bring Down the House, while spirituals, chants and Motown hits will summon ancestors to weave an epic tale in black odyssey.

Directors, Playwrights and Adapters-Sneak Peek to 2020 Season

Four Shakespeare productions, two American Revolutions world premieres, and a season of Jubilee-behind all of that groundbreaking art is a talented team of playwrights, adapters and directors. Interviews of every OSF 2020 director, and some of the season's playwrights, are available for listening on SoundCloud, on Apple Podcasts, and on OSF's Multimedia page.

OSF's artistic legacy is built on great people, its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and a history of bringing world-class talent to its stages through visionary, forward-thinking programs that breathe fresh ideas into American theatre.

Tickets for the OSF 2020 season, which features 11 productions and more than 4,000 Festival events, went on sale to Members beginning November 4, 2019, and will be available to the general public beginning December 3, 2019.



A Midsummer Night's Dream By William Shakespeare

February 28 to November 1 | Opens March 6

Directed by Joseph Haj

"The course of true love never did run smooth"

Hermia loves Lysander, Demetrius loves Hermia, Helena loves Demetrius, Theseus and Hippolyta are almost newlyweds, and the already-complex marriage of the immortal queen and king of Fairyland is further complicated when one of them falls for an amateur actor-turned-ass. Seeking out the grace, beauty and delight embedded in the comedy, this joyful, music-laden production probes the pitfalls and pay-offs of relationships, be they budding or eternal.

The Cast: Al Espinosa as Oberon/Theseus, Lauren Modica as Titania/Hippolyta, Jonathan Luke Stevens as Lysander, William Thomas Hodgson as Demetrius, Royer Bockus as Helena, Kimberly Monks as Hermia, Daniel T. Parker as Nick Bottom, Tyrone Wilson as Peter Quince/Egeus/Fairy, Cristofer Jean as Francis Flute/Fairy, Michele Mais as Tom Snout/Fairy, Jeremy Gallardo as Snug/Fairy, K.T. Vogt as Robin Starveling/Fairy, Galen James-Heskett, Corey Renfree and Wren Eustis as Ensemble.

The Copper Children by Karen Zacarías

World Premiere | American Revolutions Cycle Commission

February 29 to October 31 | Opens March 7

Directed by Shariffa Ali

A new American Revolutions play from the writer of Destiny of Desire

Good intentions and despicable behavior collide in a blend of humor, tragedy, and unsentimental social commentary. Based on the true history of "orphan trains" that transported immigrant children (mostly Irish) to homes in the West, this world premiere explores the roots of a sensational "Trial of the Century" custody case that stirred the nation into a frenzied debate about children, law, race, class and religion.

The Cast: Caro Zeller as Margarita Chacon/Alwynne, Cesar J. Rosado as Cornelio Chacon, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey as Gloria/Copper Haired Woman, Kate Hurster as Lottie Mills/Novice, Rex Young as Charles Mills/Judge, Carla Pantoja as Sister Anna, Sarita Ocón as Sister Theresa, Eddie Lopez as Padre Mandin and Armando Durán as Mayor/Swayne.

Peter and the Starcatcher by Rick Elice

Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Music by Wayne Barker

March 1 to November 1 | Opens March 8

Directed by Lavina Jadhwani

Pirates, mermaids, swashbuckling fights and a ticking crocodile

We know the destination-Neverland-but here is the story of how we got there. In this music-filled, Tony Award-winning prequel to Peter Pan, a brave young girl leads a ragtag group of orphans on a quest to save the world from a villainous pirate. Hilarious, physical and imaginative, Peter and the Starcatcher embraces the child in each of us with far-from-childish depth and beauty.

The Cast: Grace Chan Ng as Molly, Preston Mead as Boy, Cyndii Johnson as Ted, James Ryen as Black Stache, Brent Hinkley as Smee, Michael J. Hume as Captain Scott, K.T. Vogt as Alf, Erica Sullivan as Lord Aster, Cristofer Jean as Slank/Hawking Clam and Jeremy Gallardo as Grempkin/Fighting Prawn/Mack/Sanchez.

Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen

A sequel to Vietgone
July 2 - October 31 | Opens July 5

Directed by Victor Malana Maog

"Far away, in the exotic land of Arkansas"

Falling in lust-then-love was the easy part-marriage is harder. Six years after fleeing Vietnam and meeting in a relocation camp, Tong and Quang have settled in Arkansas with their 5-year-old son, but their happily-ever-after is strained by language barriers, money woes and Quang's first wife. Packed with hip-hop and imagination, this sequel to Vietgone stands on its own as an outrageous autobiographical love story.

The Cast: Amielynn Dumuk Abellera as Tong, James Ryen as Quang, Amy Kim Waschke as Huong/others, Moses Villarama as Playwright/others and Will Dao as Nhan/others.


Bring Down the House

Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy performed in two parts

Adapted by Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski

Produced in association with upstart crow collective

Part I: March 3 - November 1 | Opens March 6

Part II: March 3 - November 1 | Opens March 7

Directed by Rosa Joshi

"The King is dead. Long live the king."

Henry V has died unexpectedly, passing the crown to his young son, Henry VI, and setting off a series of high-stakes political intrigues and battles that result in the loss of England's French territories and spark the War of the Roses. This epic two-part adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy brings Shakespeare's language to visceral life with a diverse all-female and non-binary cast.

The Cast: Betsy Schwartz as Henry, Vilma Silva as Margaret, Jenna Bainbridge as Richard/Joan/others, Catherine Castellanos as York/others, Sheila Tousey as Humphrey/Old Clifford/others, Kate Wisiniewski as Warwick, Miriam A. Laube as Eleanor/George/others, Brooke Parks as Suffolk/Edward/others, Donna Simone Johnson as Somserset/others, Lisa Tejero as Beaufort/Cade/others, Caroline Shaffer as Salisbury/others, Emily Ota as Buckingham/others, Brenda Joyner as Exeter/Lady Grey/others, Meme García as Young Clifford/others, Whitney Holland as Rutland/others and Quinci Freeman-Lytle as Prince Edward/others.

Confederates by Dominique Morisseau

World Premiere | American Revolutions Cycle Commission

Co-commissioned with Penumbra Theatre

April 8 to October 31 | Opens April 12

Directed by Nataki Garrett

"A far-from-civil legacy"

Sara, an enslaved woman who wants to fight in the Civil War, plots an increasingly dangerous path to freedom. Sandra, a brilliant modern-day political science professor, navigates acts of hostility at work. Leaping back and forth between the parallel struggles of two Black women living 160 years apart, MacArthur "Genius" Fellow Dominique Morisseau takes an unflinching and illuminating look at the ongoing legacies of institutional racism and gender bias.

The Cast: Christiana Clark as Sandra, Erika Rose as Sara, Preston Butler III as Abner/Malik, Cyndii Johnson as LuAnne/Jade and Erica Sullivan as Missy Sue/Candice.

Everything That Never Happened by Sarah B. Mantell

July 21 - October 31 | Opens July 25

Directed by Jessica Kubzansky

"It's all about what we leave out"

Taking place in the gaps between what Shakespeare made and the realities of Jewish history, Everything That Never Happened reveals what you didn't see in The Merchant of Venice. Jessica, beloved daughter of Shylock, decides she must leave her father, culture and religion after falling in love with a Christian. Rich with humor and heartbreak, this time-bending tale plumbs the three-dimensional humanity of some of Shakespeare's most iconic characters.

The Cast: Benjamin Pelteson as Shylock, Caro Zeller as Jessica, Daniel José Molina as Gobbo and Garrett Young as Lorenzo.


The Tempest by William Shakespeare

May 26 - October 18 | Opens June 5

Directed by Nicholas C. Avila

"A sea-change into something rich and strange"

For 12 years, banished Prospero has been living on a mystical island and using magic to subjugate its natives. With vengeance weighing heavily on his mind, he conjures a storm to bring ashore a passing ship carrying his enemies, who find themselves at the mercy of his supernatural machinations. A cast of familiar OSF actors explores the good, the bad and the gray areas of human nature.

The Cast: Kevin Kenerly as Prospero, Rodney Gardiner as Ariel, Fidel Gomez as Caliban, Grace Chan Ng as Miranda, William Thomas Hodgson as Ferdinand, Al Espinosa as Antonio, Michael J. Hume as Gonzalo, Tyrone Wilson as Alonso, Daniel T. Parker as Stephano, Amy Lizardo as Trinculo, Lauren Modica as Boatswain/Ensemble, Royer Bockus as Adrian/Ensemble, Steven Sapp as Shipmaster/Ensemble, Jonathan Luke Stevens as Mariner/Ensemble and Preston Mead as Ensemble.

black odyssey by Marcus Gardley

May 27 - October 16 | Opens June 6

Directed by Monty Cole

"Still waters run deep"

The gods have made a chess game of Ulysses Lincoln's life, forcing the soldier to face his past as he endeavors to return to his family in Oakland. Reimagining and reclaiming Homer's ancient story for our times with imagination-igniting poetic style, this poignant and epic journey of personal, cultural and national history leads us through the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and war in Afghanistan, and from Heaven to Earth.

The Cast: Cedric Lamar as Ulysses Lincoln, Christiana Clark as Nella Pell, Preston Butler III as Malachi/Poly'famous, Kevin Kenerly as Deus/Eaton/Super Fly Tireseas, Steven Sapp as Paw Sidin/Naval Officer/John Suitor, Michele Mais as Great Aunt Tina/Scylla/Calypso, Rodney Gardiner as Artez Sabine/Alabama Slim/Soul Siren/Alter Ego, Erika Rose as Alsendra Sabine/Circe/Carib'diss and Kimberly Monks as Benevolence Nausicca Sabine.

Bernhardt/Hamlet by Theresa Rebeck

May 28 - October 17 | Opens June 7

Directed by Dawn Monique Williams

"The greatest part ever written . . . the greatest actress ever born"

It's 1897, and French actress Sarah Bernhardt-a giant of the stage, with a level of celebrity the world has never before seen-is determined to play one of Shakespeare's most coveted male roles. This fact-meets-fiction story of a larger-than-life personality is a profound and profoundly funny comedy about a woman who unabashedly shattered society's expectations and glass ceilings on her way to becoming a legend.

The Cast: Robin Goodrin Nordli as Sarah Bernhardt, Rex Young as Constant Coquelin, Armando Durán as Louis, Fidel Gomez as Edmond Rostand, Cesar J. Rosado as Alphonse Mucha, Eddie Lopez as Maurice, Amy Lizardo as Rosamond, Sarita Ocón as Lysette, Cedric Lamar as Raoul, Brent Hinkley as Francois and Carlos-Zenen Trujillo as Ensemble.

Casting continues for the 2020 season and is subject to change. Biographies of directors, designers and actors for the 2020 season can be found at www.osfashland.org/.