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OSF live shows return with ‘Fannie,’ local theater: July 2

E. Faye Butler as Fannie Lou Hamer. See “In Focus” listing below. Photo by Liz Lauren
In Focus: ‘Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer’

Cheryl L. West’s “Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer” is a musical play inspired by the life of the civil rights activist, and tells the story of the Mississippi-born civil and voting rights activist (1917-1977), painting a portrait of courage, humor, and grit. The play provides a first-person account of Hamer’s remarkable life, alternating between autobiography and song, just as Hamer herself incorporated art into her activism. The play stars two luminaries of the American stage — E. Faye Butler, who will portray Hamer July 1 through Aug. 28, and Greta Oglesby who will take over the role Sept. 1-Oct. 9. An onstage band will provide backup music for the one-woman show. Performances are scheduled to run at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, July 1-Oct. 9. Tickets are $35, and can be purchased at osfashland.org or by calling the OSF box office at 800-219-8161. Masks are required. See more listings for OSF below.

Editor’s note: Because of changing COVID-19 restrictions in place in Oregon, please call businesses or check their websites to confirm all listed events.

Ashland Contemporary Theatre: See ashlandcontemporarytheatre.org or call 541-646-2971.

ACT is seeking submissions of short plays by Southern Oregon playwrights. The theatre company plans to present a “Moonlighting” reading in September at Grizzly Peak Winery in Ashland. Play submissions may be as short as a 10-minute full program up to a 40 minute one-act. Monologues also are welcome. There are no topic-related limits for the content of the plays. For more information or to submit a play, email ashcontempotheatre@gmail.com, or send a hard-copy to Ashland Contemporary Theatre, P.O. Box 3284, Ashland Oregon, 97520. The submission deadline is Wednesday, July 7.

Camelot Theatre: 101 Talent Ave., Talent. Tickets and information available at camelottheatre.org or 541-535-5250. Group and discounted season packages are available. Box Office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.

2021 season: Camelot will present two musical spotlights this summer and fall, and “Elf, The Musical” for the holidays as it re-emerges from the pandemic to offer live performances for its 39th season.“Spotlight on Aretha Franklin” featuring the Rogue Suspects is scheduled to run Aug. 12 through Sept. 5, and “Spotlight on Bette Midler: The Divine Miss M,” is slated for Sept. 30 through Oct. 24. Both spotlights are billed as Camelot exclusives. “Elf, The Musical,” based on the hit 2003 movie “Elf” starring Will Ferrell, will be presented Nov. 24 through Dec. 31.

2021 Youth Conservatory: Camelot partners again this year with the Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts (OCPA) to offer an in-person, conservatory training program. For students ages 7 to 14, the “Magic of Theatre” program runs Monday through Friday, July 5-23, at Hedrick Middle School in Medford, concluding with two performances of “Charlotte’s Web” July 23. Students ages 13 to 19 are currently in a six-week in-person conservatory at Camelot Theatre in Talent. This program concludes with five performances of the Broadway musical “All Shook Up.” Registration and information is available on OregonConservatory.org.

‘All Shook Up’: The Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts and Camelot Conservatory students will present a dynamic tribute to “The King,” Elvis Presley, in the Broadway hit “All Shook Up.” Follow one-of-a-kind Elvis moves to tunes such as “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “All Shook Up” and more. Performances are scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 30-Aug. 1. Tickets are $20-25, and go on sale Thursday, July 1.

Collaborative Theatre Project: 555 Medford Center, Medford. Tickets and information are available at ctpmedford.org, on Facebook, by calling 541-779-1055. Group rates are available.

‘Radiance, the Passion of Marie Curie’: The play, written By Alan Alda and directed by Susan Aversa, follows Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, who share a Nobel Prize. When Pierre dies in an accident, Marie is plunged into depression. Paul Langevin, fleeing an unhappy marriage, gives her the strength to return to her work. But the scandal over their affair threatens to end her career, just when she might become the first person ever to receive a second Nobel Prize. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through July 17, and at 1:30 p.m. Sundays through July 18. Tickets are $30, or $25 for seniors and students. Also see the art exhibit “Variety is the Spice of Life” in the lobby. The display features examples of work by artists who participate in the fourth annual “100 Days of Creativity,” which asks artists in all media to create something new each day, for a succession of 100 Days.

‘The Book of Will’: In this play, it has been three years since Shakespeare’s death, and his closest friends miss him dearly. After hearing a badly botched version of “Hamlet” at a nearby theater, they realize Shakespeare’s words are starting to fade into obscurity. So, they set out to compile as many of his manuscripts as possible, going head-to-head against a shady publisher, a drunken poet, shrinking resources and their own mortality. Written By Lauren Gunderson and directed by Russ Lloyd. Performance are scheduled Aug. 12 through Sept. 5, with times to be announced.

Oregon Cabaret Theatre: 241 Hargadine St, on the corner of First and Hargadine streets, Ashland. Tickets and information are available at oregoncabaret.com or by calling 541-488-2902. Reservations are required for pre-show dinner and brunch. Appetizers, beverages and desserts are available without reservations. Student rush tickets are $15 and can be purchased 30 minutes before curtain with valid ID, subject to availability. Group discounts available.

‘Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story’: Buddy Holly’s brief life is immortalized in this dynamic and heart-rending stage show. Set between 1956 and 1959, “Buddy” traces Buddy’s early rise to fame with the Crickets to the night when the music died. Featuring hit Buddy Holly songs like “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba,” and The Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace,” this musical celebrates the lives lost on that fateful night and the lasting impact they had on rock ’n’ roll. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, Mondays and select Wednesdays, July 1-Sept. 4, and 1 p.m. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, through Sept. 5. Were it a movie, “Buddy” would be Rated PG, with mild, coarse language and some adult themes. Tickets are $43, $39 or $29. COVID-19 safety measures include masks being worn at all times when not eating, temperature checks at the door, tables 6 feet apart and 12 feet from performers, and limited capacity. Upcoming performances include “Poirot: Murder on the Links,” Sept. 18-Nov.7; and “Christmas, Contigo,” Nov. 18-Dec. 31.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival: 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. Showtimes, ticket prices and information available at osfashland.org or at 800-219-8161. Group discounts available. OSF’s interactive and immersive digital content platform, O!, can be accessed for free at osfashland.org/digital. Some content will be accessed for a fee. Other content available or in development includes interviews, digital storytelling, online classes, podcasts, audio plays and more. August Wilson’s “How I Learned What I Learned,” directed by Tim Bond; Mona Mansour’s “unseen,” helmed by OSF Associate Artistic Director Evren Odcikin; and Dominique Morisseau’s “Confederates,” directed by OSF Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, previously anticipated for fall 2021, will take place in future seasons.

Live Performances:

Wednesday Concerts: OSF will present outdoor concerts on the big Elizabethan stage at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, July 21-Oct. 6. Kicking off the concert season will be the Bay Area’s Urban Jazz Dance

Company, which will perform two nights, July 21-22. Other bookings include Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Phoenix and Four Directions, Hollis Peach, Brother Angus, Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Alegre, Chic Street Man, The Singer and The Songwriter, Dancing Spirit Drum, Flamenco Pacifico and others. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at osfashland.org or by calling the OSF box office at 800-219-8161. Masks are required.

‘It’s Christmas, Carol!’: Written by Mark Bedard, Brent Hinkley, and John Tufts, the story follows three ghosts who take the miserly Carol Scroogenhouse through time and space to reckon with how she’s abandoned love and artistry for capitalism. Performance dates and times will be announced later.

Rogue Theater Company: See roguetheatercompany.com or call 541-205-9190 for showtimes, tickets and further information.

‘Tiny Beautiful Things’: Based on the acclaimed book by Cheryl Strayed (author of the best-selling “Wild”) and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), “Tiny Beautiful Things” follows advice columnist “Sugar” as she weaves together her personal experiences while offering insights full of laughter, depth and humanity. This touching and uplifting exploration of resilience is a reminder that we’re not so alone after all. Veteran OSF actor Michael J. Hume directs. Performances are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, July 15-24, at Grizzly Peak Winery, 1600 E. Nevada St., Ashland. Regular tickets are $25. Tickets are available online through the theater company’s website or by phone.

Shakespeare Studies: Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor and dramaturg Barry Kraft will lead a six-part series on Shakespeare from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Plays to be studied are “Romeo and Juliet,” Sept. 7 and 9; “Julius Caesar,” Sept. 14 and 16; and “Hamlet,” Sept. 21 and 23. Tickets are $20, $100 for the entire series. The outdoor Ashland location will be confirmed at time of booking. Further information and tickets are available online through the theater company’s website or by phone.

‘Mala’: With sharp humor and piercing honesty, this powerful one-woman show is a moving portrait of how taking care of family challenges oneself, deepening and changing our bonds to the ones we love. Performances are set for 2 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, Oct. 7-17, at Grizzly Peak Winery, 1600 E. Nevada St., Ashland. Regular tickets are $25. Tickets for the Thursday, Oct. 7, preview performance are $20. Tickets for the Friday, Oct. 8, opening benefit are $35, and include complimentary wine and a talkback with the actor and director.