1950s

Expansion, another fire and a new Elizabethan Stage.

This decade saw expansion of the repertoire, extension of the season, and establishment of many practices still used at OSF. In 1951 Sunday performances were added to the schedule. OSF also began its long association with NBC radio, which began a series of broadcasts of 30-minute adaptations of productions. These broadcasts continued for 25 years. These recordings are digitized and available for researchers in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Archives with advance notice.

The Vining Rep was formed in Fall 1951 by members of that summers’ cast. After three seasons in the old Lithia Theatre, fire destroyed the stage, stock, and records. The first instance of cross-gender casting occurred in 1956 with Judy Offord in the role of Duke of York in Richard III. In 1957, the Festival completed one cycle of the chronicle plays. In 1958, OSF completed the entire canon with the production of Troilus and Cressida. In addition a full performance-recorded library of tapes was completed. Jerry Turner directed his first OSF production in 1959, and went on to become Producing Director. A new Elizabethan stage-house was completed in 1959, designed by Richard L. Hay.

1950s Production History