Getting to know ‘Shakespeare’s Other Women’

Author/Director Scott Kaiser has written a new play, “Shakespeare’s Other Women,” to be presented Feb. 16–19 at Southern Oregon University. Kaiser, who first came to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as an actor in 1985, is now OSF’s Director of Company Development. We met in his office at the new Hay-Patton Rehearsal Center on the OSF Campus. This is the first part of a two-part column. The second will be published on Monday, Jan. 9.

EH: How did this project come about?

SK: I do a lot of auditioning and teaching. For women, there are few Shakespeare monologues. Young women in particular are often forced to use the same monologue over and over. Most of the monologues do not represent the full range of the female experience. I started to write speeches to try to expand the canon of material for women to use. It’s meant to be a new collection of monologues for women. I’m writing them in verse, the way that Shakespeare would have written them.

These are characters mentioned by Shakespeare (but who don’t appear), historical characters and mythological characters that are invoked. I have drawn from the canon, characters that you are curious about and given those women a chance to have a full appearance. Continue reading Getting to know ‘Shakespeare’s Other Women’

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Collaborative Theatre Project aptly named

Not to be missed this Christmas season is the Collaborative Theatre Project’s “The Snow Queen.” The music, staging, acting, and costumes are superb. Under Susan Aversa-Orrego’s direction, talented actors and musicians have come together to create this magnificent piece.

Director Obed Medina is a founding member of the project. We met in their new theater in the Medford Center, which includes Tinseltown.

Developers are revamping the whole complex and are trying to make it into an entertainment/arts destination, to bring in more restaurants and breweries. Once they get those in, it will become a nice little hub of entertainment.

EH: How did you get interested in theater?

OM: When I was 9 or 10, I saw a play at a community theater that really moved me. Then, I wanted to be a writer, but when I went to college, I got involved in theater. Theater did that same thing for me: You can do almost what a book or an essay can do, but in a compact and more powerful way. It’s got more impact because you’re watching the actor on stage. It’s not a movie, where you can just sit and think about what you’re hearing or seeing, you’re actually interacting with that actor. There is a connection with the actor and the audience, and every performance is different. Continue reading Collaborative Theatre Project aptly named