A Star-Studded Lineup Beyond Compare

The Rogue Valley may be small in size, but what it lacks in stature it more than makes up for in entertainment. In fact, this gorgeous part of the country is actually home to the largest concentration of live performance venues of any comparably sized region on the West Coast. Our entertainment crown jewels are as vibrant as they are plentiful.

Live Shows

Oregon Shakespeare Festival is the largest repertory theater in the nation — and it’s right next door in Ashland. Each year, audiences are treated to more than 800 matinee and evening performances of classic and contemporary plays — including Shakespeare — from late February to October. Between five and eleven plays are offered in daily rotation, six days a week, in three theaters — including the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, an approximate replica of the London’s Fortune Theatre built in 1599. Since its founding in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival has won three Tony Awards and countless accolades.

Britt Music and Arts Festival is the Pacific Northwest’s premier outdoor music event, with dozens of concerts every year from June through September. The performance venue in Jacksonville is a naturally formed amphitheater on the hillside estate of 19th century photographer Peter Britt. Concerts feature world-class artists in every genre — classical, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop and country. Past performers include Chicago, Culture Club, Brandi Carlile, Janis Ian, Joan Jett, Peter Frampton, Diana Ross, Pat Benatar, Diana Krall, Kris Kristofferson, Earth Wind & Fire, Steve Martin, Cindy Lauper, and Heart, just to name a few.

The Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts in Medford is a state-of-the-art performance center originally built in 1924. Vaudeville and theatrical acts were the hit of the day, including a young dancer named Ginger Rogers. Today’s Craterian hosts a mix of Broadway musicals (Rent, Shrek, Pippin, Cabaret), top musicians (Queen Latifah, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Art Garfunkel), and famed comedians (Jason Alexander, Drew Carey and Wayne Brady). The Craterian is also home to the Rogue Valley Symphony and the Rogue Valley Chorale, as well as the Teen Musical Theater of Oregon and Next Stage Repertory Company.

Other favorites for entertainment, big and small, include the Camelot Theater in Talent (a showcase for local theatrical productions), the Oregon Cabaret Theater in Ashland, and the Bi-Mart Amphitheater at the Expo — host to world-class outdoor concerts with entertainers like Carrie Underwood, Steve Miller and Willie Nelson.

Film Festivals

If cinema is your passion, the Ashland Independent Film Festival is just the ticket. The festival takes place over five days each spring, screening 80 independent documentary, feature and short films. Thousands of film lovers gather at the art-deco Varsity Theater, the historic Ashland Armory and other venues for what has been described as “like Sundance, only warmer.” The Festival provides an intimate setting that gives audience members a chance to attend screenings, forums, educational programs and informal gatherings — all devoted to independent film. Plus the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers and special guests.

Art Galleries

Jacksonville is home to a colorful palette of artists, working in every medium imaginable. Photographers, painters, sculptors, woodworkers — all talented and all local. Highlights include the Jacksonville Art Presence Art Center (home base to more than two dozen area artists) and the Carefree Buffalo (a store full of artistic treasures for modern western living). Acclaimed nature and scenic photographer Dan McGeorge — whose photos and prints can be found the world over — calls Jacksonville home as well, and you’ll find his gallery in the heart of town.

In nearby Ashland, you can browse more than thirty galleries featuring dozens of artists. Most of the galleries are located within a few blocks of each other, and every gallery welcomes all comers — art enthusiasts and first-timers alike. You’ll love the remarkably diverse and high-quality works of art. And don’t miss the First Friday Artwalk each month where downtown galleries stay open late and the entire area is awash with live music, great food, artist talks and more.

In Medford, the Rogue Gallery & Art Center offers open studios, classes and workshops. And the Art du Jour Gallery is a cooperative of some 20 local artists.

The Schneider Museum of Art, located on the campus of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, features a permanent collection that’s primarily focused on works on paper from the twentieth century and beyond. There’s also a rotating slate of exhibitions focused on historical and contemporary perspectives on art, as well as works by nationally and internationally recognized artists.

Continuing Education

Calling all lifelong learners! The opportunity to learn is alive and well in the Rogue Valley. Our very own Southern Oregon University has a highly regarded and tremendously popular program for adults 50+ called OLLI — the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Each year, they offer a diverse catalog of courses and programs designed to foster lifelong learning, encourage social interaction and provide cultural enrichment. No tests, papers or grades — just sharing a love of learning.

Make the Rogue Valley Your Home

Contact Stage Pass to learn about available homesites.