Oregon Shakespeare Festival may change theater due to fires


Wildfires have forced productions to shut down two years in a row

Open to the sky, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre seats 1,200 people. Featured in the photo is the 2012 set and ensemble in Henry V. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a major tourist draw in southern Oregon, is exploring changes to its famous outdoor theater after losing millions due to smoky wildfire conditions in 2017 and 2018.

The Daily Tidings reported Tuesday that the annual summer theater festival uses Ashland High School’s indoor theater when smoke shuts down its outdoor 1,190-seat outdoor venue.

But the world-famous festival is looking for a long-term solution to volatile air quality as wildfires have forced it to shut down productions two years in a row.

The festival lost $5.4 million during 2017 and 2018 seasons plagued by wildfires.

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