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.