Tag Archives: Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Queer Fish

25 Oct

I had a dream in which I was at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It looked completely different. I was in this maybe outdoor theater with grey wooden seating forming perhaps a circle.

People were wandering around on the steps between the seats, I think after a performance. There was a buzz of talking. Actors may have been wandering among the patrons.

Suddenly, a giant, slimy, yellow fish dropped out of nowhere. It was right behind the wooden auditorium, at the bottom of a set of wooden steps. Two male actors in Renaissance costumes struggled to pick it up, as it flapped around. I think it attempted to crawl along the ground.

I climbed down, near to the fish, and a much smaller fish, maybe a foot long, dropped out of nowhere. It was mostly off-white but with fins and tail made of rainbow colors, and it had a rainbow-colored unicorn horn. It was as though a trout mated with a queer narwal.

I soon forgot the huge fish (which was about the size of 2 humans) and was the only person who concentrated on the rainbow fish. I chased after it, though it was trying to crawl away in grass. I think grass. I grabbed it, and one of its fins or something slipped off.

I kept going after it, near a wooden staircase, and the next time I grabbed it, its unicorn corn fell off, and it kept quickly crawling away from me. It was so slippery, I was having trouble grasping onto it. I felt horrified that the fish was falling apart while I chased it.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

8 Jul

Aside from the Bad Vibes couple in my left, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor was beautiful. It was on the Elizabethan-style stage, based on that in Stratford-on-Avon.

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It was sort of like a 1980s musical, with music from that decade (including Blondie’s “I’m gonna get you”). The music added to the humor. The costumes were a mix of Elizabethan and 1980s. I’ve never been a fan of 1980s fashion, not even in the 1980s, but it worked.

Falstaff’s bombasted codpiece doubled as a fanny pack. He unzipped it to take out letters and a pouch of coins. In one scene, the codpiece fell off.

Falstaff was played by a woman, as were a couple of the other male characters. I think that’s perfectly justified, considering that in Shakespeare’s time women weren’t allowed to perform onstage. (At the New Globe in 2004, I saw an excellent all-female production of Much Ado About Nothing.)

Full Day in Ashland, Oregon

7 Jul

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Yesterday I drove three hours to Ashland, Oregon, located in Southern Oregon. It somehow didn’t occur to me that the temperature would change drastically, so during the hours that I explored downtown (and shopped) before checking into the hotel, I thought I was sweating profusely simply because I’m middle-aged and the sun was burning hot. However, although it was eighty-four degrees when I left Eugene, in downtown Ashland it was about a hundred degrees.

Ashland has a lovely downtown, with Victorian houses behind the parking garage, a downtown park—Lithia Park, specifically—that proved considerably larger than at first it appeared, and with a lovely pond and creek.

Across the street from the park entrance is a visitor’s center and a fountain from the 1920s where you can drink spring water…and it tastes disgusting, like a mixture of salt and liquid metal. Yuck.

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Main Street seems to have a bookstore on every block, or pretty close to every block. I made a point of not setting foot in a bookstore that I think specialized in children’s books. However, an hour or so later I couldn’t resist stepping into a spirituality bookstore. After all, I was sweating and figured it would be air-conditioned, which it was. I left with a bag of books and statues. I also wandered into a fabric store and got myself an owl pincushion and a set of iron-on embroidery designs.

I saw the intense tragedy Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles; it shook me up, and it was a relief to walk around downtown after the sun had set. Window shopping, I realized that this is a progressive and hippie-friendly town; I also noticed that restaurants are more likely to be open late than they are in Portland. Main Street is still lively and hopping with pedestrians, whether they just saw a play or are smoking pot and playing music. The antique store’s window display featured vintage Asian clothing, including a sparkly Indian tunic and a cotton Afghani nomad dress. There was also Japanese and Chinese cloisonné to ogle. A Tibetan-owned shop sold new items, such as figurines of fierce deities and Tibetan thangkas. These shops were so colorful and sparkly, I suspected I might visit them the next day, while they were open.