FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

A Positive Sign

by Patricia Vanikiotis

Feb 20, 2021

We got a positive indication this week of one aspect of life here coming back from the near standstill it’s been this past year. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Tony-winning regional theater founded in 1935 which produces musicals, world premieres of new productions and commissioned new works as well as Shakespearean plays, announced its 2021 season after being forced to go dark just after the 2020 season opened last year. Located in the college town of Ashland (and conveniently close to my home), the Festival drew theater lovers from across the country and around the world who, along with all the professionals associated with the organization, pumped millions of dollars into the local economy. Restaurants, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, shops and tour operators relied heavily on a season that ran from February through October each year. You can imagine how deeply the shutdowns and travel bans resulting from the pandemic affected the entire community.

OSF did not just fold up and hibernate entirely last year, however. Its artistic director, Nataki Garrett, and new executive director David Schmitz helped launch O!, a new digital platform that allowed theater to intersect with other media in order to support artists and reach audiences in new ways with new content. On the site one can access audio recordings of past performances; take part in interactive conversations and discussions; access digitized archives, classes and educational materials; watch past acts from the free outdoor Green Shows that preceded summertime plays; view documentaries; and enjoy online storytelling and podcasts. Still, we’ve all been missing the chance to take in live performances.

This week’s announcement of the 2021 season provided a gleaming light at the end of the COVID tunnel with the promise of a unique, combined digital and live season beginning in March and running through the end of the year. In addition to the ongoing content from O!, which Garrett describes as the Festival’s “marquee fourth stage where new and innovative projects will run alongside some of OSF’s most beloved and well-known productions,” four new, live productions will run in repertoire onstage in the fall and winter. These are August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned, an autobiographical one-man show; Unseen, a West Coast premiere about a conflict photographer who wakes up at the site of a Syrian massacre, unsure how she got there; and Confederates, a world premiere commissioned play part of OSF’s ongoing American Revolutions series, telling the stories of two Black American women: an enslaved woman turned Union spy and a modern-day private university professor. The final play, It’s Christmas, Carol, will be the first winter season production for the Festival and promises to be a whacky take on Dickens’ tale. It was written by three actors who together performed in the Marx Brothers comedies Coconuts and Animal Crackers at OSF a few years ago. If It’s Christmas, Carol is even half as hilarious as those two shows (my ribs were literally aching from laughing so hard after seeing Coconuts), it will be the best way to end the sojourn we’ve been on over the last year.

The Green Shows will also return, Oregon Shakespeare Festival presenting free concerts, dance and community acts outdoors on the Festival courtyard stage, with the schedule to be announced soon. All live performances will be subject to state and local guidelines and restrictions, but the directors clearly believe performances with live audiences will be possible in the coming months.

The Festival will also stream on-demand shows from the OSF archives on a limited schedule, starting in March with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; Manahatta, by Mary Kathryn Nagle; and Snow in Midsummer, by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig. (Productions from recent seasons were filmed with multiple high-definition cameras and “exceptional” sound quality, promising a great video experience.) Tickets for those three performances are available now, and plans are to announce more streaming productions in the coming months. At $15 a pop or three for $40, it’s a great way to see plays that would cost as much as $100 or more in the theater. I’m looking forward to being able to catch shows that I wasn’t able to see live onstage but which had received great reviews.

While it will likely be another year before I’ll be able to watch Shakespeare under the stars at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Allen Elizabethan Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival I am so happy to hear (knock on wood) that I’ll be able to attend live, world-class performances before the end of the year.

— Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor

 

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
March 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Venture Out in Vienna, a City of Opulence and Grace

Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.

Daily
Mar 8, 2021

Redeem AAdvantage Miles for At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.

January/February 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Take Time to Indulge in Well-Being at Canyon Ranch Lenox

Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.

Daily
Mar 5, 2021

3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

eFlyer News
Mar 3, 2021

Explore Fairbanks Highlights New Aurora Tracker Video

The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Gaylord Hotels Announces Spring Specials

Gaylord Hotels invites guests to Spring It On at Gaylord Texan, Gaylord Rockies, Gaylord Palms and Gaylord Opryland. March 12–May 16, craft the perfect spring break getaway with Gaylord’s themed family programming and more.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Workcation Offer at Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.