By: Jul. 09, 2018
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THE WAY THE MOUNTAIN MOVED Opens July 14 The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will open the world premiere of Idris Goodwin's The Way the Mountain Moved, directed by May Adrales, on July 14 in the Thomas Theatre. Preview performances are July 10, 12 and 13, and the play runs through Oct. 28, 2018.

Goodwin's American Revolutions commission journeys into the genesis of the Transcontinental Railroad and explores often untold perspectives of an iconic chapter in American history and the events that shaped the country's moral and environmental future. In a remote desert in the 1850s, four men-a U.S. Army lieutenant, a sharpshooter, a botanist and an artist-set out to survey a route for the new continent-spanning railroad. After being scattered on separate odysseys, they cross paths with lost pioneers, cautious Native Americans and an African-American Mormon couple unsure whether to befriend, fight or flee the newcomers. Whose dreams will prevail?

"What is so fascinating about this play is that as people were moving out West, we were at this precipice where we wondered about America: What is it and what could it be? Idris's play presents a question of what could it have been," says director May Adrales, who previously directed 2016's Vietgone at OSF. "Could America have been a place where there is multiplicity and is there a way that these different values and cultures could have lived side by side? Did there have to be a winner?"

The Way the Mountain Moved joins All The Way, Sweat, Roe, Party People and other commissions from American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle that explore key moments of change in U.S. history.

"When Idris so generously agreed to create a play for American Revolutions, we talked about him touching on a moment of change in the history of our environment," says Alison Carey, director of American Revolutions. "The Way the Mountain Moved brings to life not only the people that headed West in the 1800s, but the land itself and the creatures on it. It is a story of beauty and changing bounty, and it is a gorgeous testament to the richness of the world around us."

The cast of The Way the Mountain Moved features Christiana Clark as Martha, Al Espinosa as Luis Núñez Arista, Rex Young as George Harris, Julian Remulla as Jonathan Handle, Michael Gabriel Goodfriend as Lt. Gerald Smith, Christopher Salazar as Tuwuda, Rodney Gardiner as Orson, Sara Bruner as Phyllis Cooke, Maddy Flemming as Helen Cooke, Krista Unverferth as Hannah, Robert Vincent Frank as Bart, Shyla Lefner as Kusavi and Jen Olivares as Chuxa.

Scenic design for The Way the Mountain Moved is by Sara Ryung Clement, costumes are by Deborah M. Dryden and lighting is by Keith Parham. Charles Coes and Nathan Roberts are composers and sound designers. Projections are by Shawn Duan and Laura A. Brueckner is production dramaturg. David Carey and Rebecca Clark Carey are voice and text directors and U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director. Amy Miranda Bender is production stage manager and Rachel Gonzalez is production assistant.

The Way the Mountain Moved runs through Oct. 28, 2018, in the Thomas Theatre. Due to high demand, nine bonus performances have been added: July 31, Aug. 5, Aug. 26, Sept. 2, Sept. 5, Sept. 20, Sept. 26 and Oct. 11. Tickets for all performances are available at the OSF Box Office, via phone at 800-219-8161, or online at and

Upcoming engagement programming related to The Way the Mountain Moved includes Festival Noons Prefaces July 12 and July 28, free Festival Noons Park Talks July 15 (with actor Christopher Salazar) and July 24 (with actor Michael Gabriel Goodfriend) and a Festival Noons talk July 25 titled "American Revolutions: The Way the Mountain Moved and Beyond" featuring American Revolutions Director Alison Carey and Associate Director Julie Felise Dubiner. Tickets and information are available at More engagement programming for The Way the Mountain Moved and other 2018 productions for August and beyond is to be announced.

The Way the Mountain Moved is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. Lead Sponsor is Louise L. Gund. Sponsors are Amy and Mort Friedkin and The Hobbes Family. Partners are Nancy and Donald de Brier, Cynthia Muss Lawrence and the National Endowment for the Arts. OSF's 2018 season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

OSF's full 2018 playbill includes Othello, Sense and Sensibility, Destiny of Desire, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! and Snow in Midsummer in the Angus Bowmer Theatre; Henry V, Manahatta and The Way the Mountain Moved in the intimate Thomas Theatre; and Romeo and Juliet, The Book of Will and Love's Labor's Lost in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents an eight-month season of up to 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals and world-premiere plays. OSF's play commissioning programs, which include American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, have generated works that have been produced on Broadway, throughout the American regional theatre, and in high schools and community theatres across the country. The Festival draws attendance of more than 400,000 to approximately 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals.

OSF invites and welcomes everyone, and believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. OSF is committed to equity and diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences.

OSF's mission statement: "Inspired by Shakespeare's work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory."

Photo credit: The Way the Mountain Moved (2018): Christopher Salazar, Christiana Clark, Sara Bruner, Al Espinosa. Courtesy of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.


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