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'Shakespeare in Love,' Disney musical highlight OSF's 2017 season

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the West Coast premiere of "Shakespeare in Love" and Homer's "Odyssey" are among the plays being performed in 2017 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Artistic Director Bill Rauch announced the season on Friday.

"The 2017 season represents our ever-growing passion and dedication to represent voices and stories that reflect the cultural richness, and at times the painful legacy, of our country," Rauch said in a release.

Both parts of Shakespeare's "Henry IV" will be performed next year in the intimate Thomas Theatre as part of OSF's Canon-in-a-Decade project.

For the first time in its history, OSF will stage a play by a Native American writer with Randy Reinholz’s "Off the Rails," adapted from Shakespeare’s "Measure for Measure" and set in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.

OSF will debut "UniSon," a musical based on August Wilson's poetry and written by UNIVERSES, OSF's ensemble-in-residence responsible for 2012's "Party People." UNIVERSES was granted access to Wilson’s poetry catalog in association with his widow, Constanza Romero, and his estate. It will be directed by Robert O’Hara ("The Wiz").

Another world premiere will be "Hannah and the Dread Gazebo," by Jiehae Park, directed by Chay Yew ("Our Town"). A mysterious package from her Korean grandmother takes Hannah on a surreal, comedic, heartbreaking adventure to the south side of the Demilitarized Zone, with guest appearances from the Ghost of Kim Jong Il, a mythological tiger, and other mischievous fragments of her family's past.

OSF's resident playwright Luis Alfaro will see his "Mojada" performed on the Angus Bowmer Stage, directed by Juliette Carrillo. Alfaro illuminates the ancient Medea tale through the lens of the immigrant journey to the U.S. The 2015 production of "Mojada" at the Getty Villa was the winner of three L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Awards.

Director Mary Zimmerman will present her adaptation of Homer's epic poem in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre, to be joined by Disney’s musical and Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor."

"Shakespeare in Love," directed by Christopher Liam Moore, is based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard and is adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Tony Award winner for the musical "Billy Elliot"). It will be presented by special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions & Sonia Friedman Productions.

The 2017 season will begin previews on Feb. 17 and open the weekend of Feb. 24-26. The opening performances in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre will be the weekend of June 16-18. The season will run through Oct. 29. Tickets for the 2017 season will go on sale in November 2016 for members, and general sales will begin in early December. For more information, visit osfashland.org.

In the Angus Bowmer Theatre:

"Julius Caesar," by William Shakespeare, directed by Shana Cooper, Feb. 17-Oct. 29.

"Shakespeare in Love," directed by Christopher Liam Moore, Feb. 18-Oct. 29.

"Mojada," by Luis Alfaro, directed by Juliette Carrillo, Feb. 19-July 6.

"UniSon, by UNIVERSES, directed by Robert O’Hara, April 19-Oct. 28.

"Off the Rails," by Randy Reinholz, directed by Bill Rauch, July 27-Oct. 28.

In the Thomas Theatre:

"Henry IV, Part One," by William Shakespeare, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, Feb. 23-Oct. 28.

"Hannah and the Dread Gazebo," by Jiehae Park, directed by Chay Yew, March 29-Oct. 28.

"Henry IV, Part Two," by William Shakespeare, directed by Carl Cofield, July 4-Oct. 29.

In the Allen Elizabethan Theatre:

"The Merry Wives of Windsor," by William Shakespeare, directed by Dawn Monique Williams, June 6-Oct. 13.

Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast," directed by Eric Tucker, June 7-Oct. 14.

"The Odyssey," by Homer, adapted and directed by Mary Zimmerman, from the translation by Robert Fitzgerald, June 8-Oct. 15.