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Four premieres and five Bard plays to highlight Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2016 season

The musical "The Wiz," a new play called "ROE" by Lisa Loomer and Shakespeare's rarely staged "Timon of Athens" highlight the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2016 season, announced today by Artistic Director Bill Rauch.

The season will include five Shakespeare plays, four world premieres and two musicals, according to an OSF news release.

Rauch noted in the release that OSF will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with at least one play from each genre — comedy, tragedy, history and romance. And with "Timon of Athens," OSF will have produced the entire 37-play canon four times. With its Canon in a Decade project, OSF plans to complete the canon a fifth time by 2024.

“At the same time, our commitment to new work remains a vital part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 21st century," Rauch said in the release. OSF will produce world-premiere adaptations of Charles Dickens and Gilbert and Sullivan, a new American Revolutions drama and a fable from a rising Latina playwright.

The 11 plays will include: "Twelfth Night," an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ "Great Expectations" by OSF alumni Penny Metropulos and Linda Alper, "The River Bride" by Marisela Treviño Orta, "ROE" by Lisa Loomer, and "Timon of Athens" in the Angus Bowmer Theatre; an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s "The Yeomen of the Guard" by Sean Graney, artistic director of The Hypocrites in Chicago, "Vietgone," by Qui Nguyen and Shakespeare's "Richard II" in the Thomas Theatre; and "Hamlet," "The Wiz" and Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale" in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

The 2016 season will begin previews on Feb. 19 and open the weekend of Feb. 26. Summer season begins June 17. The season closes Oct. 30.

For more detailed descriptions of the plays, visit www.osfashland.org.