Ashland arrival

Many of us here in the Bay Area consider the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in lovely little Ashland, Ore. to be a theatrical home away from home. A great number of local theater lovers make annual pilgrimages to the charming hamlet just over the California-Oregon border.

Big changes are afoot in Ashland next year as artistic director Libby Appel steps down and Bill Rauch steps in (in June to be exact). Rauch sent an e-mail to OSF patrons this week announcing that he’ll arrive in April to direct Romeo and Juliet, and he’ll stay to begin planning for the 2008 season.

Here’s some of what he wrote:

The opportunity to follow in Libby Appel’s footsteps at OSF is both humbling and thrilling, and I am very grateful to Libby for introducing me to the incomparable artists, and audiences, here in Ashland. Beginning with Angus Bowmer, the four preceding OSF artistic directors have fostered a theatre company that remains unique in the history of American theatre. Carrying that legacy forward is a great responsibility for me and an adventure that awaits all of us together.

Visit the OSF Web site for information. To learn more about Rauch, to watch an interview and see a slide show, click here.

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