North of the California border lays a small town called Ashland that is no longer a small town. Since it began hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival eighty years ago medieval banners have enveloped street posts and tourism has increased astrologically (I would say astronomically but the number of tarot card readers and crystal shops begs otherwise). The festival has become so popular that purchasing tickets to an evening comedy threatens to turn into a financial tragedy.
Tyler’s fond memories of the human hamster wheel in the park (unfortunately no longer a feature) and our desire to add a touch of literary culture to our adrenaline packed trip, made Ashland a mandatory stop on our road trip. Here’s how we saved a bit of cash while still enjoying front row balcony seats to Antony and Cleopatra:
If you are between 19-35 (or able to pretend that you are), you qualify for $25 tickets to almost every performance. Check out this site to see which performances are available for your desired date and create a username for the site to complete the purchase. The best part of this deal is that almost every ticket becomes $25, no matter its location. We chose $95 seats, which, at checkout, became $25. Hail Caesar!
Check the website for Weekly Web Specials, which are 40% off select shows. OSF updates their specials on Thursday.
If you are a student, you can get $15 rush tickets an hour before the show at the box office if you have a valid id. This may be a good idea if you’re already seeing a show and are hoping to catch one more. Weekdays would probably be easier to get good seats than weekends.
Watch the free shows. When we were there they had a free outdoor show in front of the Allen Elizabethan Theatre called the Green Show. At least a hundred people clapped and hollered for a Guinean drum and dance group that stoked the audience for the feature shows later.
For more and up to date discount ticket ideas check out OSF’s website.
As always, buy at a grocery store and picnic in the beautiful park! No alcohol allowed unless you pour it into a coffee mug and act cool.
If you aren’t already a member, sign up for couchsurfing.com. This free website connects people from around the world who are willing to host travelers. I’ve hosted many people, and couchsurfed in a few countries and have almost always had great experiences. There are 1122 people signed up to potentially host in the Ashland area. We stayed with a nice young couple that lent us their spare bed and let us use a sharpie to add to their wall of quotes from other couchsurfers.
Fill up gas in Medford, Oregon, 13 miles north of Ashland. As of 8/18/15, gas hovered around $4/gallon in LA; we paid $2.85/gallon in Medford.
Good luck, and may thou enjoyest thine trip!