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A set in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Wikimedia Commons.
From the audience seats to backstage, immerse yourself in theater right at the heart of it.

Learning Theater: From Audience to Critic at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

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APPLY for Second-Round--Review is Rolling


Who doesn't love going to a play: sitting in the darkened theater, a member of the audience community waiting to be entertained, charmed, and challenged? But how many of us know enough about the details of the plays, their interpretation, their production, and acting itself, to allow us to appreciate fully the theatrical experience? In this seminar, we will spend 14 days in Ashland, Oregon, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), where we will attend these plays: Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Macbeth, and Coriolanus; Jane Eyre, adapted by Elizabeth Williamson from the novel by Charlotte Brontë; Liz Duffy Adams’ Born With Teeth; Lizard Boy, Books, Music, and Lyrics by Justin Huertas; and Behfarmaheen (If You Please), a one-person show by and with Barzin Akhavan. (To read more about these productions, go to We will also spend time backstage, meeting with actors, designers, and artistic and administrative directors of OSF. Students read the plays before the seminar begins, attend these productions together, and have the time to study one play closely through a second viewing.  In Ashland, students will produce a staged reading and design a final paper based on one or more of the productions. These reviews will be delivered to the group and turned in on Thursday, September 19.

Important Logistics

This seminar will convene in Ashland on Monday, September 2 (COVID and wildfires permitting), and will adjourn to Stanford on Sunday, September 15. Students make their own arrangements to arrive in Ashland by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 2. (The Medford Airport is close, about 18 miles north of Ashland). The class will return to campus for the third week of SoCo and move directly into academic year housing. Room and board in Ashland and transportation back to Stanford will be provided and paid for by the program. Please note: the last several years Oregon has suffered from wildfires and low air quality during the month of September, and students should be prepared for this.

This course may have expenses not covered by the program fee, as for some students it will be more expensive to travel to Ashland than to Stanford. If Financial Aid recommends that you receive assistance with the program fee and you are accepted to this class, we will also invite you to request financial assistance with the difference between the cost of arriving in Medford versus going directly to Stanford (if higher).  Consult our page about money for more information.

Meet the Instructors

Rush Rehm

older white man in front of canal and tall building in Amsterdam

Rush Rehm, professor of drama and classics, works extensively in the area of Greek tragedy. His books include Aeschylus' Oresteia: A Theatre VersionGreek Tragic TheatreMarriage to Death: The Conflation of Wedding and Funeral Rituals in Greek TragedyThe Play of Space: Spatial Transformation in Greek Tragedy; and Radical Theatre: Greek Tragedy and the Modern World. He teaches courses on dramatic literature of various periods, as well as teaching acting and directing to drama students. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Stanford Repertory Theater.

Linda Paulson

Linda Paulson

Linda Paulson is Associate Dean and Director of Stanford’s Master of Liberal Arts Program.  She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA and has taught at Stanford since 1985. Her research focuses on the Victorian novel and on the development of a British woman’s novel. In 1989, she received Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. She frequently lectures for Stanford Travel/Study groups in England and France and has been taking Stanford undergraduates to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1995.