Actor/director/producer Lyda Woods is preparing for her next production, “Rogues: Tales from the Valley,” based on her satiric mystery, serialized in the Tuesday edition of the Ashland Daily Tidings. It is a take-off on the San Francisco Chronicle’s 1980s “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin, which was later turned into a PBS series. A staged reading starts at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7 and 8, at Paschal Winery and Vineyard. Woods and I got together, on a rainy winter day, at the Black Sheep restaurant in Ashland.
LW: ”Tales of the City” explored San Francisco at a very critical time: San Francisco was becoming a Mecca for alternative life styles. I loved that series, and it always stuck with me.
I would really love to explore the characters that make up the Rogue Valley, and there are so many of them. Each character is not based on any one person, but a mosaic based on experience and imagination. I’m looking at how these characters can transform. I see the Rogue Valley as one organism. I wanted to explore how we are all interconnected and what that means. There are so many micro-cultures, yet we are interdependent. I want to be entertaining and grab the audience.
Claudia Alick oversees numerous activities as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s community associate producer, including the Green Show summer performances on the bricks and Open Mics in the Black Swan Theatre. This is Alick’s seventh season at OSF. We ate lunch at the Dragonfly Restaurant in Ashland. This is the first of two parts; the second will publish April 30.
Costume Designer Barbara Rains and Production Manager Roy Rains are two remarkable talents at Camelot Theatre. The couple met while performing in the “Trail of Tears” drama at the Tsa-La-Gi Amphitheater near Tahlequah, Okla. They’ve been in Oregon almost two years. We chatted on the set of Camelot’s “White Christmas” in Talent.
EH: Barbara, what productions are you designing?
BR: This coming season, I will be designing all of the musicals. The next one will be “Funny Girl.”
EH: Roy, fill me in on your production manager duties.
RR: My job is to make sure that artists have what they need to realize their visions. We’re in a transition period for this position.
Claudia Alick has found the key to success with her eclectic selection of performers for the Green Shows, the early-evening performances on the Courtyard Stage at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. As we lunched at Dragonfly, Claudia told me how she goes about it.
CA: We love for the audience members to write us notes. It’s the only way we know if we are on the right track. We also have an open submission policy. It’s a democratic way to curate a show. It opens me up to acts that I would never get to find out about. Just go online, write us a note, tell us what your act is and you’re in the running. I also encourage people to go to the Green Show group on Facebook. That’s just another way to become part of the conversation.
Claudia Alick is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s community associate producer. She organizes the Green Shows, the free performances that take place every evening on the Courtyard Stage before the regularly scheduled OSF plays.
Under Alick’s direction, the Green Shows have become an eclectic series of performances. She selects artists from the local community and from around the country. We met over lunch at Dragonfly Restaurant.
EH: Is your background in theater?
CA: Yes. I got my undergraduate degree at George Washington University; I was a theater major there. I got my graduate degree at New York University in performance studies, which is an interdisciplinary program that not only looks at the performances that happen on stages, you also study performances that happen everywhere — the performance of tourism or ritual as performance. I found it extremely helpful information for my job.
"The live voice and the live story is what we need as a society. It gives us our humanity." — Kate Sullivan
EH: You graduated in theater from the University of Hawaii with a BA in theater?
KS: Yes. I received some nice training and I always wanted to take part in the building of a small theater. That happened here.
EH: What are your favorite roles; what would you like to create here?
KS: Any good part in a great play is a dream, because you are etching out that role forever. The author has given you so much to work with. You can play it a thousand times and you are still deepening the performance. I’m open to all roles and plays. Shakespeare, Williams, new plays. I get really excited, you know, working on an original piece. I love being part of that playwright, actor, director, collaboration. I would love this theater to grow so that it can be a place where actors, directors and playwrights can continue to create together.