WHERE TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE
Shakespeare a la fresco in Ashland, Oregon or with stunning Lake Tahoe as a backdrop
Shakespeare had it wrong. The question isn’t “to be or not to be.” Rather it is where is the best place to enjoy Shakespeare’s works as they were originally performed in an outdoor venue — the Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland in Southern Oregon or Sand Harbor on the shores of Lake Tahoe?
Given that Lake Tahoe Shakespearean Festival is a July and August affair you might wonder why you should give thought to possibly attending the event now instead of waiting until say, mid-June, to consider booking tickets.
The answer is simple. Both the Lake Tahoe Shakespearean Festival and the Oregon Shakespearean Festival aren’t the same as traveling to San Francisco to take in a Shakespearean play — or other stage works — in the theatre district on Geary Street and nearby streets between Union Square and the Tenderloin, at the venues in the Bay Area, or even the Sierra Repertory Theatre stage in Sonora. Those are all day trips, if you well, or overnight excursions combined with dinner and a hotel.
A trip to Sand Harbor in Nevada is 180 miles away or almost 3½ hours by car. Ashland is roughly 350 miles away or just under a six-hour drive.
So why, might you ask, would you want to consider seeing a Shakespearean play — or other offerings of the respective festivals — in Lake Tahoe or Ashland? The answer is simple.
Anchoring a vacation with an outdoor Shakespearean play accented with worldclass dining, exploring stunning outdoor attractions and unique venues is a pleasant twist.
Southern Oregon has outdoor gems in the form of Crater Lake National Park while Ashland has a strong mixture of specialty shops, restaurants, and outdoor activities such as golf.
Lake Tahoe, of course has Lake Tahoe with its 191 square miles of surface blue water and 72 miles of shoreline at 6,225 feet ringed by the Sierra mountains. You can play on the lake, hike or bicycle mountain trails, enjoy the night life of casinos on both the north and south shores, or just sun on a sandy beach.
Having seen Shakespearean plays at both Sand Harbor and Ashland, they each other unique visual treats. Given the Oregon
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Allen Elizabethan Theatre during the 2013 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.