After a disappointing 2020 season, Ashland Shakespeare Festival planners are determined to put on a great show in 2021, announcing that the festival will resume in-person performances starting in July! Actors, directors, and attendees are all eager to return to the festival stages and experience the transformation of Ashland, OR into a Shakespearean wonderland.
This year, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival will return better than ever with creative displays of both live and digital performances — which means even more ways to enjoy the fun. Here’s what you can expect from this year’s event.
What to Know About the Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Last year, the festival introduced a new digital platform called O! which allowed viewers to stream performances and actor interviews and interact with the theater community from their homes. The 2021 season will utilize this platform to stream past performances from the archives as well as two brand new productions, Snow in Midsummer, and The Comedy of Errors.
Festival planners have been closely following CDC’s latest guidelines to plan for live performances to return in July. Performances will be held in all three of the festival’s popular venues, with free outdoor shows near the Ashland Plaza from June to September, weather permitting.
Ashland Shakespeare Festival Schedule
Also different this year? The festival run time. Historically, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival runs from March to October, but this year the festival will continue until January 2022. The extended schedule means an opportunity to see the first holiday season production, “It’s Christmas, Carol”, in which a theater producer travels to a dramatic interpretation of a pandemic future complete with zombies.
This shifted schedule may continue in years to come, as it means fewer shows are less likely to be canceled last-minute due to wildfire smoke, which has been an increasingly common interference. The extended schedule may help the festival adapt and recover lost revenue from the wildfire season and year of the pandemic.
Ashland Shakespeare Festival Venues
The Ashland Shakespeare Festival is centered around three main venues. All of the theatres are easy walking distance to one another, though the festival experience expands across town.
The two main indoor theatres are the Angus Bowmer Theater and the Thomas Theatre. The most popular venue is the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, which can seat up to 1190 attendees and is modeled after London’s Globe Theater. Other performance spaces include the Black Swan Theatre, the Hay-Patton Rehearsal Center, the Courtyard Stage, and the Mountain Avenue Theatre.
Ashland Shakespeare Festival Tickets
Tickets typically range from $30 to $120, from preview shows to box seats, in an effort to provide affordable options for all to experience the magic of Shakespeare.
It’s a good idea to book tickets to shows you’re interested in before you plan to visit. The newest, most popular shows will sell out quickly, so try to purchase them as soon as they are available. Or, if you’re not looking to attend anything specific, you will still likely find plenty of tickets to great performances a few days before your visit.
If you’re still looking for more to see, don’t forget to check out the Green Show for free, outdoor performances Wednesday thru Saturday at 6:45pm downtown near the Ashland Plaza.
How to Plan Your Visit to the Ashland Shakespeare Festival
The festival is very walkable and easy to access from around Ashland, but the best way to experience it is to plan to stay nearby to catch varied performances, sample local restaurants, and explore the surrounding Southern Oregon towns and landscape.
Where to Stay Near Ashland, OR
Here are some of the best nearby accommodations to get the full experience and stay close to the action.
Columbia Hotel — Historic hotel a block away from the Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites — located 3 miles from Ashland near the Siskiyou Mountains
Ashland Springs Hotel — Restored Ashland landmark, includes a restaurant and spa
Arden Forest Inn — Themed bed and breakfast with a heated pool, walking distance from the festival
Bayberry Inn — local B&B offering Ashland Shakespeare Festival packages
Winchester Inn — Boutique Ashland inn, home of Alchemy Restaurant and Bar
Magnolia Inn — Quaint and cozy inn located in the heart of Jacksonville, OR
Jacksonville Inn — romantic Jacksonville bed and breakfast with its own restaurant
Where to Eat in Ashland, OR
Plan to stop at a few of these places in town to sample the local fare.
Luna Cafe — lunch and dinner served in a retro cafe setting
Greenleaf Restaurant — farm-to-table eatery with indoor and outdoor dining
Larks Restaurant — upscale dining in the Ashland Springs Hotel
Masala Bistro & Bar — healthy and flavorful Indian cuisine
More Things to Do Near the Ashland Shakespeare Festival
Although you’ll definitely want to be in Ashland in the evenings for the best performances, you can plan trips out of town to see the sights during the day. Or, take a full day off from the theater and experience other local attractions. Here are a few suggestions for things to do nearby the Ashland Shakespeare Festival.
Explore Ashland, OR
Spend time in Ashland plenty of things to do in Ashland. Visit the famed Lithia Fountains, relax at a riverside brewery, or take a drive through the countryside.
Tour Rogue Valley Wineries
Southern Oregon is world-renowned for its spectacular wineries, especially those located in the fertile Rogue Valley. If you have time, plan a wine tour of the Rogue Valley, or spend an afternoon visiting local Medford wineries,
Spend a Day in Jacksonville, OR
There are plenty of things to do in Historic Jacksonville for families, friends, and couples. Stroll through the quaint downtown to visit local stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.
Extend Your Stay in Southern Oregon
Can’t get enough of the culture and lifestyle of Southern Oregon? Why not live here?
Southern Oregon is home to many of the state’s big cultural events. It’s one of the many reasons we love living here, and we think you will, too. The community at Stage Pass is conveniently located on the doorstep of Jacksonville, Medford, and Ashland, so you can be at the center of everything that’s happening in our community. For more information, contact the team at Stage Pass today.