Still from Oregon Shakespeare Festival production ofThe Odyssey, 2017
image courtesy of The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Michael Scholar, Jr. '16 is the Assistant Director for 'Romeo and Juliet' at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

May 16, 2018

Alumnus Michael Scholar, Jr. '16 is the Assistant Director for Romeo and Juliet at the 2018 Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The production is directed by Dámaso Rodríguez, Artistic Director of Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre and it will run at the Allen Elizabethan Theatre from June 5th throughout October 12th.


"A pair of star-crossed lovers take the stage, under the stars and with lush period detail, in Shakespeare’s passionate and tragic tale of warring families and young love. Inspired by the natural mirror of the play’s progression from light to darkness, Dámaso Rodríguez directs one of the greatest love stories in the English language on the open-air Allen Elizabethan stage. When Juliet and Romeo, children of enemies, meet at a fateful dance, a love for the ages ignites, until fate and a legacy of hatred turn the world against them. Emily Ota (Juliet) and William Thomas Hodgson (Romeo) join a large cast of beloved OSF actors in this timeless story of love, hatred and tragic consequences," according to The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's website.


The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is a theatrical landmark. From its inception in 1935, the Festival has presented all 37 of Shakespeare's plays and 341 non-Shakespeare plays for a total of over 30,000 performances. Each year, the Festival produces eleven plays, usually from three to five by Shakespeare and the remainder by other playwrights, on three stages during an eight-month season beginning in mid-February. Under Artistic Director Bill Rauch, the Tony Award-winning festival has furthered its commitment to new plays, diverse casts and crews, and plays by women. Of the 11 productions on the festival’s three stages this year, four are by Shakespeare and five are by women.


Born and raised in Regina, Scholar is the Founding Artistic Producer of November Theatre, known for musicals theatre works such as The Black Rider and Hard Core Logo: Live. The Black Rider toured North America for over a decade and won several awards and nominations. Hard Core Logo: Live is Scholar's stage adaptation of the film and book, with new music composed by Joe Keithley of legendary punk band D.O.A. Also with November Theatre, Scholar wrote and directed Ana for Hive 3 as part of the 2010 Cultural Olympiad, and wrote Killing Konundrum for Caravan Farm Theatre’s Everyone collective morality project. For Vancouver’s Touchstone Theatre he was the playwright in residence in 2010/2011; and for Regina’s Globe Theatre he was the Artistic Associate in 2011/2012, where he developed original work, programmed a season of the Sandbox Series and directed David Greig’s Midsummer (a play with songs).


Other directing credits include Fat Pig (Equity Co-Op/Jessie Award Nomination, Vancouver); Humanity and No (Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon); I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change (Arts Club Theatre/Gateway Theatre, Vancouver); 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress (Presentation House, Vancouver); and Barbie Screams (which he co-wrote). Since moving to NY directing credits include the politically charged devised Mr. E’s Humongous Underground Digital Vaudeville Extravaganza!!! (Columbia University), Liz Thaler’s The Third Option (Amios/SHOTZ!), and Uncle Vanya (Medicine Show Theatre). 


Tickets for Romeo and Juliet and other plays showing at the festival are on sale now.