The last weekend in September saw many Upper School students participating in Community Sevice, an activity organized by the Upper School Student Council, in which Delphian School students head out into the local area to assist with park cleanup and other volunteer efforts. However, a small group of students visited Ashland, Oregon to take in two plays as part of Ashland’s nationally acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Early Saturday morning, the participating students drove to the lovely town of Ashland, in southern Oregon, where they were able to spend time shopping at eating at the town’s many upscale shops and restaurants. After dinner, the students enjoyed listening to a local band play before they headed out to the first show, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, the famous comedic operetta about a man who was an apprentice to a pirate.
The next morning, the students rose with excitement at the day’s first event: a backstage tour at OSF. One of the Shakespearean actors took the Delphian School students on an intimate tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival theatres, from the Elizabethan Stage through to their many other theaters. The students learned how the different stages work, where and how the costumes are made, how the actors know when to go on stage—a wealth of insider information usually known only by the thespians themselves! The Delphian students and chaperones enjoyed the tour immensely, and they headed to the day’s matinee in good humor.
The second OSF show enjoyed by all was The African Company Presents Richard III, a drama about an African American theatre company in pre-Civil War New York, which was performing Richard III at the same time as New York’s premiere theatre company. The play challenged the students with the question, who owns Shakespeare’s words?
Overall, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival trip was a huge hit with the Delphian School students. All who attended enjoyed themselves immensely and learned much more about the theater world than ever expected.
Article researched and written by Form 7 student Meagan Fowler-Platt