Oregon Shakespeare Festival cancels shows due to ‘unprecedented’ COVID case numbers

Oregon SHakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has been forced to cancel several performances because of a high number of COVID cases have broken out among the casts and crew members. (Photo: Oregon Shakespeare Festival) Oregon Shakespeare Festival


What was supposed to be the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2022 comeback season has again been impacted by the pandemic. As a note on the festival’s performance status page indicates, at this point, several performances and events have been canceled, because of “an unprecedented number” of COVID cases among the casts and crew members of multiple shows.

An online note posted by Nataki Garrett, artistic director, and David Schmitz, executive director, says the decision to cancel shows is based on the high number of positive COVID cases (about 15 percent of the performing and understudy company) and high level of exposures, which are attributed to the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron variant.

“We want you to know that we take this decision very seriously and understand the impact it has, both within our theatre community, audiences, and our larger community, including the businesses that we rely on to feed and house our community,” the note by Garrett and Schmitz says. “When we cancel, we impact everyone.”

All performances this week of “The Tempest,” “Revenge Song,” “Unseen,” “Dr. G’s Bingo Extravaganza” and “The Green Show” have been canceled. In addition, all campus tours, education events and planned ASL interpretation this week are canceled.

“Once On This Island” and “How I Learned What I Learned” are scheduled to go on with planned performances.

Ticket holders should have been notified by email of these changes. Anyone who hasn’t received an expected email notification should call the box office at 800-219-8161.

“We have proven these past 2.5 years that OSF is resilient,” Garrett and Schmitz write. “We’re working hard to welcome you back to our full repertory line-up once again, while centering the safety and well-being of our company, community, and audiences. As the situation evolves, the Performance Status page will be updated with the latest information.”


-- Kristi Turnquist

kturnquist@oregonian.com 503-221-8227 @Kristiturnquist