OSF Debuts Its Digital Engagement Platform, O!
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival today announced the launch of O!, a new interactive and immersive digital content platform designed to extend the artistry and creativity of the nation's largest flagship repertory theatre to patrons, fans, and virtual communities all over the world. While O! will also serve as a connective bridge to OSF's work in this moment of sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is designed to become a foundational and ongoing part of OSF's programmatic efforts.
"I'm thrilled to introduce the world to O!, bringing OSF's full digital experience to life at a time when theatres and performance venues are shuttered across the globe," said Nataki Garrett, OSF's Artistic Director. "I'm especially grateful for the sheer breadth of talent and creative resources developed and nurtured by this organization for decades, which led to the creation of this immersive, interactive digital space that offers something for everyone to engage with."
Garrett's digital vision for OSF began in her interview process for the Artistic Director position. Robert Goodwin (OSF Director of Artistic Engagement: Education and Community) and Amrita Ramanan (OSF Director of Literary Development and Dramaturgy), in collaboration with Jesse Parks (Director of IT) and Sharifa Johka (Director of Equity and a celebrated filmmaker and producer), stewarded the ideas now driving the organization's digital programming development. The team behind O! is steeped in the education, engagement, play development, EDI, live and virtual performance experiences at OSF.
O! can be accessed by all for free at www.osfashland.com/digital and offers fresh original content, thought-provoking discussions and presentations, as well as a treasure trove of fascinating videos and recordings from OSF's archives. Segments currently available or in development on O! include:
- Featured: OSF Originals - Join an immersive and interactive digital space where there is something for everyone. OSF Original shows will include artist interviews, digital storytelling, and much more!
- Engage: Interactive Conversations and Discussions - O! presents real-time conversations on art-making, selected OSF archival engagements, and new OSF discussion programs re-imagined for the digital sphere. Participate in the creative process of story-making, ask your favorite artist a question, and get an introduction to a play you may not be familiar with on the Engage: Interactive Conversations and Discussions section of O!
- Discover: Storytelling in the Digital Sphere - Storytelling remains at the heart of our art. Discover our storytelling in the digital sphere with digistories, a series of short films created by artists who were micro commissioned to explore art and storytelling in digital platforms. Or join the OSF artists who created Take Them Into the Dirt, telling their story of building an immersive theatrical experience.
- Learn: Online Classes and Educational Materials - Try OSF's Online Classes. Our first installment, Shakespeare's Compliments, is a fun, interactive lesson for learners of all ages to playfully access Shakespeare's language-right in your living room!
- Reveal: OSF Documentaries and Behind-the-Scenes Footage - See what happens behind the scenes at OSF or watch documentaries about the Festival. "Snapshots" provide a backstage look at the process of transforming the Allen Elizabethan Theatre into three different stage settings. Watch OSF documentaries for a glimpse into OSF's history and learn about the creation of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
- Listen: Audio Productions from OSF's Past - Enjoy audio podcasts or audio plays of past OSF productions. If you are suffering from screen fatigue, choose from a selection of audio podcasts with scholars, theatre professionals, and specialists in fields that relate to play content. Or sit back and listen to an entire play from one of our past productions.
- Immerse: 3D Video and Virtual/Augmented Reality - Enter the virtual world through 360° videos. Who can have a 360° experience in the theatre? No one! But you can when you watch The Road We Travel In Between by filmmaker Andrew Kenneth Gay.
- Explore: A Digitized Journey Through OSF's Archives - Check out the digital archives of OSF's past. Listen to broadcasts about the Festival that reach as far back as 1952 with history told by Festival founder Angus Bowmer. One story features the closing of the Festival due to fire and war-and how the Festival recovered, as we will from Covid-19.
OSF will continue to create and develop its digital content to include original shows for O!, exclusive artist interviews, new online classes, unique digital storytelling projects, and much more.