Shake­speare a la fresco in Ashland, Ore­gon or with stun­ning Lake Ta­hoe as a back­drop

Riverbank News - - LIVING 209 - By DEN­NIS WY­ATT

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

Photo by T. Charles Erick­son cour­tesy of the Ore­gon Shake­speare Fes­ti­val

The Ore­gon Shake­speare Fes­ti­val’s Allen El­iz­a­bethan The­atre dur­ing the 2013 pro­duc­tion of “A Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream”.

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