Wednesday, July 16, 2008

We are now midway, more or less, in our Ashland journey, having seen four plays, Breakfast Lunch and Dinner by Luis Alvaro, as well as A Comedy of Errors and Coriolanus with two to go and two additional readings. Last night we saw Othello. The acting from the principal characters, Othello, Desdemona, Iago and America, was superbly balanced and most powerful. As always, the level of production, from sets to direction to acting has been incomparable. You will not see any better theater anywhere. The OSF has a new atristic director, Bill Rausch, and what we have noticed this year is a striking improvement of casting and/or direction. What is most noticeable is how balanced the acting is.

Yesterday morning, after my early morning walk in Lithia Park, a delightful urban park, and breakfast, Sharon and I wandered the town taking some photos for your enjoyment.

In truth, the theater complex is architecturally undistinguished, below you see the outdoor Elizabethan theater that proclaims itself to be the first in the US. Much of the Shakespeare is presented here.

The Bowmer Theater, named after the founder, is the traditional theater.

The New Theater, added in the past few years, is the most flexible and innovative space and because of its size and configuration(s) seems to house some of the most powerful productions, this year, most notably Coriolanus and last year King John and The Rabbit Hole.

A pair of costumes on display in one of the many membership and other festival shops on Main Street.

The Main Street, itself, is a charming mix of early twentieth century architectural styles.

The town has a charming Carnegie library, which, unlike most communities, they have incorporated into their modern library complex.

Lithia Park, whose entry opens onto this plaza, is a delight and a favored haunt of townspeople and visitors alike. Despite warnings, many young transients sleep there and seem to be tolerated.

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