Monte Vista Drama Takes Ashland, Oregon and Shakespeare


A few students drink from the traditional Lithia water fountain.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been around since 1935 and Monte Vista Drama was lucky enough to attend this season.

The OSF is a not-for-profit professional theatre located in Ashland, Oregon. Their season runs from February through early November.

They showcase 11 different plays that include four by Shakespeare and seven by other classic writers, as well as modern and contemporary work and world premieres.

Theatre Arts 3 along with a few students from the Stage Crafts/Play Pro class joined students from California High School on the four day trip to Ashland, Oregon, a six hour drive from Danville.

While visiting Ashland, the students were able to attend to acting classes; one on general techniques and another on stage combat, and tour Southern Oregon University. They also saw three plays; The Comedy of Errors, The Cocoanuts, and The Tempest. Students also had the amazing opportunity to tour backstage of one of America’s first Elizabethan theatres, or talk to one of the festival actors.

“It exceeded my expectations,” said Chris Connor, Monte Vista’s drama teacher. “I was happy with how we meshed with Cal High and it was great to see how much the student appreciated the shows we saw.”

Connor has been wanting to take this trip since he came to Monte Vista in 2011.

Connor said the highlight of the trip for him was having a great discussion with Eduardo Placer, the lead on The Cocoanuts. Connor was most shocked by the conversations he had with his students after seeing the shows because they were more interested than he expected.

Sophomore Margaux Wisniewski was one of the lucky sixteen students to attend the OSF. When asked about what she learned about acting from the trip, she responded with the tips she picked up on from watching the actors preform.

“To be more open to interpretation, and not to have this one single idea and to venture out.”