Shakespeare Iraq performs at OSF

Shakespeare Iraq, a group of drama students taught by Peter Friedrich, is performing this weekend at OSF’s Green Show. The group raised more than $30,000 for its trip to America with a successful Kickstarter campaign.www.kickstarter.com/projects

Thanks to passions for theater, William Shakespeare and collaboration, Shakespeare Iraq will perform at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8, on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Green Show stage, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland.

Shakespeare Iraq is a group of students from the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani. The students represent a mix of North and South, Sunni and Shia, Arab and Kurd cultures — extremely different communities in a diverse nation.

July green shows

July 6 — White Snake Ensemble: Musicians from OSF's "The White Snake" present classical world music.

July 7-8 — American University of Iraq-Sulaimani Shakespeare Company.

July 10 — Jill and Daryl Hoops: Physical comedy, stilt dancing, accordion and saxophone.

July 11 — René y Grant: Andalusian/flamenco rock.

July 12 — Cabaret music by Sarah Jane Nelson and Darcy Danielson.

July 13 — Sean Forbes: Hip-hop and rap in American Sign Language.

July 14 — Magic Morgan and Liliana: Illusions, balloon sculptures and stunts with live animals.

July 15 — Sean Forbes

July 17 — Sarah Jane Nelson's Back Porch Blues with Hawkeye Herman.

July 18 — BROTHER: A Celtic tribal celebration.

July 19 — Sarah Jane Nelson and Hawkeye Herman.

July 20 — René y Grant: Andalusian/flamenco rock.

July 21 — WINGS Performing Arts presents Mississippi music.

July 22 — Dancing People Company.

July 24 — Dance Kaleidoscope: "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy."

July 25 — Dance Kaleidoscope: "Celebrating Motown."

July 26 — Dance Kaleidoscope: "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy."

July 27 — Living History Lectures: "Learning Among the Oak Groves."

July 28 — Dance Kaleidoscope: "Celebrating Motown."

July 29 — Living History Lectures: "From the Streets of Shakespeare."

July 31 — Deathrow Tull: Acoustic soul, funk, rock, hip-hop and improvisation.

Last year, Shakespeare Iraq mounted the first English-language Shakespeare production in Iraq's history. Performed in a public theater, the single show received a standing ovation.

Director Peter Friedrich, an American-trained actor and a teacher at the American University of Iraq, was interviewed on Truthdig.com after the production. Friedrich said it was his dream to bring the students to the U.S. for a collaboration with an American Shakespeare company.

Friedrich met with OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch last summer to discuss the idea, and a plan was hatched to bring the Iraqi troupe to Ashland.

The biggest obstacle was funding the trip. Friedrich came up with a successful Kickstarter campaign as the solution.

The Green Show features a diverse lineup of artists for pre-show performances on the courtyard bricks at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Shows are at 7:15 every night except Mondays through Aug. 5; and 6:45 p.m. Aug. 7 through Oct. 14. The shows last a little over a half-hour and are free.


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