Molly Tinsley

Jefferson Monthly Contributor

In an episode of sanity, Molly Tinsley decided twenty years of teaching literature and creative writing at the U. S. Naval Academy was enough.  She resigned from the faculty, moved west, and now writes full-time in Ashland and Portland.  She crafts the monthly column Theatre and the Arts for the Jefferson Monthly magazine.

Tinsley is the recipient of two National Endowment of the Arts fellowships in fiction, and has published a novel, My Life with Darwin, and a story collection, Throwing Knives, which won the Oregon Book Award in 2001.   Her dramatic work has been a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference and the Heideman award, among other prizes, and she’s a survivor of the Kennedy Center Playwriting Intensive.  Her most recent work in narrative explores its antipodes:  the memoir, Entering the Blue Stone, and the spy thriller, Broken Angels

Theatre
11:34 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Tempest: Shakespeare’s Final Answer

Denis Arndt as Prospero and Kate Hurster as Ariel in "The Tempest."
Photo: Jenny Graham | Oregon Shakespeare Festival

A narcissistic ruler opts to abdicate his position of responsibility in exchange for personal freedom. He assumes that he will retain the privileges and respect afforded his former role. But the family member he has designated to take over betrays him. Instead of enjoying the comfortable life of his choice, he is exiled and undergoes a terrible ordeal. Last year at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, this premise devolved into the darkest of denouements in King Lear.

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Theatre
10:57 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Buildings That Won't Fall Down

Alys Holden

Alys Holden, the new Director of Production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, had held the same position at the Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles for over eight years. When Bill Rauch invited her to leave that professional pinnacle and sign on with the OSF, she had to make a tough choice. She decided to visit Ashland incognito, see a couple performances, and scout the town. Lunching in a local restaurant, she eavesdropped on the tourists—and they were all talking about the plays. “Nobody in L.A. talks about plays,” she said. She took the leap.

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Theatre
3:30 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

The [Unforgettable] White Fugue

From left: Michael Hays, Grace Wolcott, Cesar Perez-Rosas and Sierra Faulkner are featured in the ensemble performing the world premiere of “The White Fugue”.
Greg Eliason

The frustration in crafting this column is the long lag-time between deadline and publication date. Add to that the tradition of orienting December articles to holiday subjects, and my enthusiasm for the Southern Oregon University production last November of The White Fugue, devised and directed by James Donlon, becomes almost a why-bother-mention-it-now?

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Theatre
4:16 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Camelot Challenge

Back in 2002, when Livia Genise became Artistic Director of Actor’s Theatre in Talent, she expressed her interest in producing the musical Annie, and her desire to make musicals a vital element of the theatre’s repertory. She heard plenty of discouraging words. Their gist: the Rogue Valley lacked the performers necessary to support such an enterprise. Eleven seasons have passed since Annie played to resounding applause, and they have proved the naysayers wrong.

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Theatre
10:49 am
Fri November 1, 2013

The Heroine's Journey

Jesusa (Vivia Font), Manuela (Alejandra Escalante) and Tomasita (Sabina Zuniga Varela) discuss a radical course of action.
Jenny Graham

In her essay, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf imagines a gifted sister for Shakespeare and speculates on her fate. Unschooled, married as a teenager against her will, the young woman yearns to write plays so runs away to London only to find herself barred from work in the theatre. She winds up pregnant, and commits suicide.

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Theatre
4:38 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Into The Woods

The Elizabethan Stage set by designer Michael Ganio and lighted by Mary Louise Geiger, with video projections by Alexander Nichols serves for three productions this season.

Two heroes of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer are scenic designer Michael Ganio and projection designer Alexander Nichols, who manage with a single set to turn the ornery Elizabethan Stage into a space that splendidly serves all three outdoor productions.  In Cymbeline, the rocky, wooded terrain supports a primitive ancient Britain and the wilderness of Wales.  In David Farr’s The Heart of Robin Hood and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on the other hand, the scaffold of trees hovers over scenes of palace and town like an ironic reminder.  Enha

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Theatre
11:41 am
Wed August 28, 2013

The Myth of History

Naomi Wallace

For its special initiative, American Revolutions, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissions playwrights to explore a critical moment or issue in U. S. history.  Of the five works the OSF has developed and produced under this rubric so far, Naomi Wallace’s intriguing, disruptive The Liquid Plain, premiering this season in the Thomas Theatre, also questions the stability of history itself, composed as it is of competing myths. 

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