(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 8/11; via Pam Green.)

Strange but true: To experience the pleasure of traditional repertory theater on a significant scale — to watch actors perform multiple roles in different plays over the course of a few days — you would have to leave the two epicenters of English-speaking theater, New York and London.

While London has the National Theater, which has multiple spaces and features several productions playing at any one time, it has not had a resident company of actors for many years. New York does not have a major institution that regularly features plays running in repertory or a permanent acting ensemble.

Here in North America, you would need to travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland or the Stratford or Shaw Festivals in Canada to watch actors with deep experience in the classics perform them in rotating repertory. I have not yet been to Shaw (coming soon!) but have been going to Stratford and Oregon for the past decade or so, and with each visit, I have become more enchanted.


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