Other summer Shakespeare and theater festivals

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by CHRISTOPHER SMITH

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Photo by T. Charles Erickson

More summer theater festivals

North America has four other major summer theater festivals, each a multi-theater complex with multiple productions in repertory running into the fall:

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Ore.: The festival is 81 years old, but this southern Oregon site traces roots to the late-1800s Chautauqua movement, which brought culture and entertainment to rural America.

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Bucolic Ashland, Ore., is a Shakespeare-steeped literary retreat

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By CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS

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Salt needs pepper. Romeo needs Juliet. And your epic nature trip to Crater Lake might need a cultural detour.

Enter Ashland, Ore., which sits in the bucolic Bear Creek Valley about 90 miles southwest of Crater Lake and 16 miles north of the California border.

It was born in the 19th century as a mill town on the banks of Ashland Creek. But things took a turn in the early 1890s.

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Ashland, Oregon, rests and the Rogue River roars

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By CHRISTOPHER REYNOLDS

Rogue River Gorge lies about 70 miles north of Ashland in Oregon.

This video takes us about 20 miles north of the California-Oregon border to Ashland, which has more smarts and style than your average town of 21,000. It’s the headquarters of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival -- an enormous enterprise that brings legions of dramatically inclined visitors -- and the home of Southern Oregon University.

I showed up on a Monday, when all the Shakespearean stages were dark. But plenty of musicians were out, working the sidewalk or playing the open-mic night at Oberon’s Tavern or serenading the upstairs diners at Martino’s Restaurant.

The last bit of the video comes from a nature walk along the narrow, roaring Rogue River Gorge, about 70 miles north of Ashland along Oregon Route 62. (Other stretches of the river, near the town of Gold Hill north of Medford, are popular spots for rafting outfitters.)

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaskan float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other places. Since early 2013, we've been adding a new minute every week (and some of those “minutes” are closer to 120 seconds. So if you’d prefer an hour or two away, we've got more than enough here for you…

Read the original report and watch the video on LATimes.com