Oregon Shakespeare Festival - OSF Campus - Black Swan Theatre

Black Swan Theatre

The Black Swan served as the festival's third theatre from 1977 to 2001. The building, originally an automobile dealership, was bought in 1969 as a second-floor scene shop and first-floor rehearsal hall. Company members began using it to stage "midnight" readings for one another. They invited friends who brought other friends. Artistic Director Jerry Turner recognized the opportunity to take risks with unconventional staging and subjects, and called for its development as a third OSF theatre. Fitting a theatre into the existing building was challenging. It could hold only 138 seats, all within five rows of the stage. There had to be, as designer Richard Hay put it, a "certain amount of tucking and squeezing." Each director had to solve the problem of an immovable roof support in the middle of the stage. In one scene, with a horizontal piece added, it became a painting of a crucifixion. It reverted to its earlier roles as working space in 2002 when it was replaced by the New Theater. Among those roles, in 2011 it became the home for the Black Swan Lab, which will develop new work by major American playwrights as well as early career writers under the direction of OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch, OSF Dramaturg Lue Douthit, and Producer Sarah Rasmusen. Each year, ten OSF actors are assigned to the Lab as one of their three regular repertory assignments.

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