By Kat Elliott
What happens in Ashland doesn’t always stay in Ashland.
The Pacific Humanities Scholars recently went to Ashland, Oregon to attend the William Shakespeare festival. The festival hosts numerous plays throughout the spring, summer, and fall in celebration of the famous playwright.
Humanities professors Lehmann and Rennard have been planning these festival visits each year for the last few years. Scholars were able to go and see for themselves the artistic talents and creative revivals of the festival’s unique productions. When not in the theatre viewing a play, the scholars had free time to explore the quaint small town of Ashland. They paid visits to the numerous arts and crafts stores, explored the park, ate ice cream, and went to dinner as one large family.
The two plays that the Humanities Scholars went to were each innovative in their own right. The first one, Roe, was the world premiere of a play portraying the behind-the-scenes events of the controversial court case Roe vs. Wade. The second play, seen on Saturday afternoon, was an imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night. Portrayed in 1930s Hollywood, the play brought to life Shakespeare’s wit and artistry. The viewing of Twelfth Night coincided with the playwright’s 452nd birthday, 400 years after his death. After the play, the scholars were able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience by joining the play’s cast and audience in singing happy birthday to William Shakespeare.
“Ashland is amazing! It’s such a pretty town, and every time we go there, the plays we see are mind-blowing,” said humanities scholar, Ashley Colombo ‘17. “Roe was definitely my favorite this time. I think we all needed to recover after that one. Ashland has a special place in my heart, and our trips there are some of my fondest memories from college. I’m so grateful to Dr. L and Dr. Rennard for putting this together for us.”