June 13, 2008
OSF Commissions Award-Winning Artists for U.S. History Cycle
To: STATE EDITORS
Passionate and varied slate of writers will create seven of 37 plays in 10-year project
ASHLAND, Ore., June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alison Carey, the Oregon Shakespeare Festivals director of American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, and Artistic Director Bill Rauch announced today the first theater artists to be commissioned for the 37-play, 10-year History Cycle, the largest commissioning and production project in the Festival's 73-year history.
The artistsare Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza), David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Robert Schenkkan, Naomi Wallace, and the collaborative team of Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone.
American Revolutions has been greeted with keen interest from historians, playwrights, and OSF audiences since its inception, said Rauch. We are overjoyed by the brilliance and the passion for the project that these artists bring to the United States History Cycle.
"I can't imagine a better group to start painting this theatrical portrait of our nation's past," said Carey.
The plays of American Revolutionswill look at moments of change in America's past, helping to establish a shared understanding of our national identity and illuminate the best paths for our nation's future.
Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone will collaborate on a piece that mingles the personal and the political in examining the loss Mr. Moscone felt after the murder of his father, George Moscone, the Mayor of San Francisco. Against the backdrop of 1970s San Francisco- -the most progressive political and social period in that city's history--the piece will explore the attempt, through memory, to assemble a relationship with a man, and a time, long gone and almost forgotten.
"We are following the inspiration and insight of the artists in all aspects of the project. We are enormously moved by Jonathan and Tony's desire to look at this intimate and powerful story," said Carey."We look forward to learning what stories the other artists will be exploring as the project unfolds."
American Revolutions, inspired by the scale and scope of Shakespeares history cycle of plays, will bring together more than 100 artists, historians and institutions from around the country. Up to thirty-seven new plays are slated to result in up to 15 full productions at OSF between 2010 and 2019. Every work commissioned, even if it does not receive a full production, will be presented to OSF audiences through workshops or readings. OSF hopes to mount the Cycle's first full production on one of its stages in 2010, coinciding with OSF's 75th anniversary.
History-based play cycles are also being planned by Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare & Company. "We are incredibly happy to be part of this national movement to use theater to examine our national past," said Rauch.
The launch of American Revolutions: The United States History Cyclehas been made possible through grants from The Collins Foundation and The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Both grants are for three years: 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Cycle director Alison Carey is co-founder with Bill Rauch of Cornerstone Theater Company, which works with diverse American communities. As Cornerstone's resident playwright, she wrote more than 25 of the company's productions for stages across the country.
For biographical information about the artists, please go to this link:
SOURCE Oregon Shakespeare Festival
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