Local theater scene, May 31
Ashland New Plays Festival: Bellview Grange, 1050 Tolman Creek Road, Ashland. See ashlandnewplays.org.
‘The Gun Show’: Award-winning playwright E.M. Lewis takes aim at her own relationship with firearms in “The Gun Show,” from her experiences in a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York. Lewis tells her story with raw honesty and gives audiences insight into the nuances of America’s gun debate. Since the play’s 2014 Jefferson Award-nominee world premiere in Chicago, it has gone on to receive critical acclaim and sold-out performances across the country and an international premiere in 2017 at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Directed by Lisa Velten Smith. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 14-15. Tickets are $25, available at the door. A conversation with the audience about personal experiences with guns will follow the performance.
Barnstormers Theatre: 112 Evelyn Ave., Grants Pass. See barnstormersgp.org or call 541-479-3557 for tickets. Group discounts are available.
‘Bell, Book & Candle’: Gillian Holroyd is one of the few modern people who can actually cast spells and perform feats of supernaturalism. She casts a spell over an unattached publisher, Shepherd Henderson, partly to keep him away from a rival and partly because she is attracted to him. He falls head over heels in love with her at once and wants to marry her. But witches, unfortunately, cannot fall in love, and this minute imperfection leads into a hilarious number of difficulties. Directed by Michele Kyle. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, June 7-22, and Thursday, June 20, and at 2 p.m. Sundays, June 9-23. Tickets are $15. A preview night will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6. Admission to the preview is $5. At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, tickets are pick-your-price at the door.
Collaborative Theatre Project: 555 Medford Center, Medford. Tickets and information are available at ctpmedford.org, by calling 541-779-1055 or at the box office. Group rates are available.
‘Silent Sky’: It’s the early 1900s, and Henrietta Leavitt, a Radcliffe graduate, is invited to join a dedicated group of women who work at the Harvard Observatory charting the stars. Henrietta meets Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming as they work endlessly to record the millions of stars in the sky to determine distance and size of the heavenly bodies. When Leavitt arrives at the Harvard Observatory, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins the women “computers” whose work is then given to a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours.” In her free time, Henrietta attempts to measure the light and distance of stars at the same time taking measure of her life on Earth. Based on true events, “Silent Sky” explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed. Directed by Susan Aversa-Orrego, featuring original music by Brittany Hreha. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through June 15, and at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, June 1-16. Tickets for performances are $18 to $25.
Oregon Cabaret Theatre: First and Hargadine streets, Ashland. Tickets and information are available at theoregoncabaret.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 $10 and can be purchased 30 minutes before curtain. A 20% discount is available for groups of 10 or more.
‘Mama Mia!’: Sophie is ready to get married to her fiancée, Sky, except for one thing — she has never met her father and wants him present for the big day. She invites three men that she discovers in her mother’s diary and believes to be candidates, but when they all arrive, Sophie’s mother, Donna, becomes distressed. As Sophie, Sky, Donna, her friends, and the three potential fathers collide on the big day, emotions run high, secrets are revealed, and an old flame is rekindled. Directed by Valerie Rachelle. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays, and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Aug. 18. Tickets are $43, $39 or $29. On Thursday, June 6, a preview will be held. Preview tickets are sold out.
Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University: Theatre Arts Building, 491 S. Mountain Ave., Ashland. Tickets are available at oca.sou.edu/box-office or by calling 541-552-6348.
‘Angels in America: Millennium Approaches’: Regarded by many critics as the best American play of the last 50 years, “Millennium Approaches” is the first of two plays in Tony Kushner’s epic, “Angels in America,” an eloquent, heartfelt, theatrically thrilling, surprisingly funny examination of the AIDS crisis, fraying relationships, and the soul of America during the 1980s. Directed by Jim Edmondson. Performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 31-June 1, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2. Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors and $5 for full-time students.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland. Showtimes, ticket prices and information available at osfashland.org or at 800-219-8161.
‘As You Like It’: Exiled from the controlling confines of the court, Duke Senior and her daughter Rosalind seek refuge — and find much more — in the unconstrained Forest of Arden. Also fleeing danger at home, Orlando encounters a young man named Ganymede and seeks help in love — unaware that Ganymede is actually his heart’s desire, Rosalind, in disguise. All society’s rules of conformity are off in this exuberant theatrical journey into one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. Directed Rosa Joshi. The show runs through Oct. 26 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
‘Hairspray — The Broadway Musical’: It’s 1962, and Baltimore teenager Tracy Turnblad lives in a world that tells her plus-sized gals shouldn’t be dancing on television and that racial segregation is here to stay. When she wins a spot on The Corny Collins Show, Tracy becomes a star and uses her newfound fame to challenge the status quo in this wildly joyful production that celebrates radical inclusion at its heart. Christopher Liam Moore directs. The show runs through Oct. 27, in the Angus Bowmer Theater.
‘Mother Road’: A powerful story about land, family and survival inspired by John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” this world-premiere drama by Southern Oregon-based playwright Octavio Solis finds hard-living William Joad meeting an unexpected relative, Martin Jodes, and reversing the Joads’ mythic journey from California back to Oklahoma. Directed by Bill Rauch. The show runs through Oct. 26 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
‘Cambodian Rock Band’: This epic play/rock concert thrusts us into the life of a young woman trying to piece together her family history 30 years after her father fled Cambodia. Featuring actor/musicians, playwright Lauren Yee brings to life the Cambodian rock scene of the ’60s and ’70s, a movement cut short by the Khmer Rouge’s brutal attempt to erase the music — and musicians — once and for all. Chay Yew directs. The show runs through Oct. 27 in the Thomas Theater.
‘Between Two Knees’: Sketch-comedy troupe the 1491s tell a fearless intergenerational story of familial love, loss and connection spanning the massacre at Wounded Knee, all of the World Wars so far and the 1973 takeover at Wounded Knee. Infused with the 1491s’ uninhibited and subversive approach to comedic storytelling, it takes a hard look at the impacts of systematic oppression after the point that textbooks typically stop teaching Native history. Also, its funny. Eric Ting directs. The show runs through Oct. 27 in the Thomas Theater.
‘Macbeth’: Spurred by prophesy and consumed by ambition, Macbeth murders the Scottish king and claims the throne. Fueled by guilt and paranoia, the new king and his wife embark on an increasingly bloody campaign to hold onto power. Shakespeare’s evocative tragedy plumbs the depths of human psychology and the pitfalls of unchecked ambition. José Luis Valenzuela directs. The “Scottish play” runs from Tuesday, May 28, through Oct. 11 in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
‘Alice in Wonderland’: Join Alice down the rabbit hole as she discovers the magic of Wonderland. This adaptation by Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus honors the beloved and iconic text while introducing us to an Alice that will delight present-day audiences of all generations. Directed by Sara Bruner. The show runs through Oct. 12 in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
‘All’s Well That Ends Well’: When Helena cures an ailing king, he rewards her with the mate of her choosing. She only has eyes for Bertram, but the young man does not return her love. What will become of clever Helena as she navigates this complex comedy of courtships, class, mistaken identities, pain, loss, war and love? A humorous, inventive and edgy production of Shakespeare’s nuanced love story. Tracy Young directs. The show runs from Thursday, May 30, through Oct. 13 in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
‘La Comedia of Errors’: Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly begin interacting with each other’s family and friends, leading to a not-so-serious case of mistaken identities. This bilingual adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s zaniest comedies will feature intimate, actor-and-text focused performances with live music. Directed by Bill Rauch. The show runs June 29 through Oct. 26 in the Thomas Theater.
‘How to Catch Creation’: Spanning more than 40 years, this is a story of love, longing, having your heart broken and simply existing. Playwright Chistina Anderson explores the act of creation — of life, of family of art — through the experiences of a black, queer, feminist writer whose life is changed in the 1960s when her girlfriend tells her some unexpected news. Decades later, the implications of that moment still echo in the lives of four artists in the Bay Area who find their lives unexpectedly intertwined. Nataki Garrett directs. The show runs from July 27 through Oct. 26 in the Thomas Theatre.
‘Indecent’: This spirited and revolutionary love story celebrates Yiddish language and literature, charting the real-life controversy of Sholem Asch’s play “The God of Vengeance” and the Jewish artists who faced persecution after its Broadway debut in 1932. This collage of theatre, music, dance and poetry is a heart-stirring affirmation of the impact of art in a time of chaos. Directed by Shana Cooper. “Indecent” was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as part of American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, and by Yale Repertory Theatre. The show runs from July 7 through Oct. 27 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
Rogue Community College: Rogue Performance Hall in Building C on the Riverside campus, 130 E. Eighth St., Medford. Tickets are available at eventbrite.com, the campus bookstore at 114 S. Bartlett St., or at the door. See roguecc.edu/theater or call 541-608-4401.
‘Twelfth Night’: Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, “Twelfth Night,” is a story of love, gender and mistaken identity. Viola and Sebastian are twins, separated at sea during a storm; each believes the other to be dead. Viola gets help from the Captain in disguising herself as a man to survive as a woman alone in Elizabethan times. Humor springs from complications of gender, desire, mistaken identity and love. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturday, May 31-June 1, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1. Tickets are $14, $7 for students.