Ashland and Drama

I haven’t put together the picture show yet, but I thought I’d talk a bit more about Ashland and the Shakespeare Festival.

Ashland is a relatively small town, in a lovely setting, with a drama festival that runs most of the year. It also has a college and is sort of an art center. In fact, it’s a lot like Sarasota in many ways. It’s only about 5 hours from the Bay Area, so it’s not difficult to visit, and this visit was pretty much on the spur of the moment.

The first afternoon we saw As You Like It, which is always a favorite. It always brings tears to my sentimental eyes, rather like a wedding. Love at first sight is such a great time saver, even when it’s followed by that long tease. That evening we saw On The Razzle — a Tom Stoppard play It was his usual comedy, filled with verbal wit. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t all that memorable.

The next day was the 4th of July, and we walked down to watch the parade. It was great. I’ll write more about it when I get the pictures ready. That night we watched The Tempest, missing a band concert. If we had known about the Ashland 4th we would have skipped the play for that day and just enjoyed the music and fireworks. The production of The Tempest was great, so we weren’t unhappy. The play really speaks to me, since it’s Shakespeare’s play on his own retirement. I don’t compare to Shakespeare, but I have been a maker as well, and it’s hard to stop. In the fashion of true genius, he speaks for all of us.

Thursday we went exploring, and saw The Cherry Orchard in the evening. It’s a very good play, but very depressing. It’s about Russian aristocrats who refuse to recognize that their time is past. It included all of the typical reactions to that very depressing time.

Friday we saw a new play, Tracy’s Tiger. It’s based on a Saroyan short story; an allegory about a man with a tiger that nobody else can see. Man meets girl (with tigress); man looses girl; man re-finds girl, you know the story. The music was 50′s jazz, and I liked it, though the ending was pretty weak.

After all that, we left Ashland and visited a few favorite spots in Southern Oregon. All in all, a refreshing trip.

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