Even though Ashland ’s claim to fame is the extremely popular Oregon Shakespeare Festival, there is more to the town than the Bard.

An excellent online resource that contains just about everything any Ashland visitor might want to know is The Best of Ashland . It is operated by local folks who know the town and what's going on there. This website has listings for theater, art and events as well as a lot of other services. The number of businesses and activities listed, with direct links to most, is impressive.

Whether a local or a visitor, see if you can't hit one of the three Ashland New Plays Festival events. There is one in summer consisting of 10-minute plays, in October the flagship festival (ANPF) presents readings of 4 full-length plays, and in January is the wild-and-wicked 24/7 Festival. For more detail visit: http://www.AshlandNewPlays.org/  Or give a call for information to: (541) 488-7995.

The Ashland Independent Film Festival is held in April with most shows viewing at the Varsity Theater on Main Street. Since 2001, this little film festival has made it on to the map at Sundance and other hot spots for the filmeratti.  http://www.AshlandFilm.org/ 

Oregon Stage Works (A Street Marketplace) has been around for a few years as well, and they perform eight shows each season. Many are well-known, such as "The Elephant Man" and "On Golden Pond" while others are new works by upcoming playwrights. Lead by founder Peter Alzado, it's worth checking out.   http://www.oregonstageworks.org/

There are a few other festivals throughout the year, including the month-long Holiday Festival of Lights each December. Plus, the Jackson County Fairgounds in nearby Central Point (just one exit north of Medford on I-5) almost always has something going on, including a Harvest Fair, the July Tech Pavillion, the Oregon High School Equestrian finals in April, plus a variety of horse shows and a rodeo.

As for OSF, it is an internationally acclaimed nine-month theater festival running from February through October, and features four Shakespeare productions in addition to eight other plays. Now lead by Bill Rausch, the festival takes place primarily in three theaters on the OSF campus. The Angus Bowmer Theatre is the largest indoor theater (600 seats), and the smaller New Theatre (200-300 seats) is used for more daring plays. The Elizabethan Theatre (1200 seats), modeled after England ’s Fortune Theatre from the 17th century, is used from June through September only. Its opening is celebrated with the Feast of Will in Lithia Park . Throughout the season guests can also take backstage tours, attend special performances, and listen to talks and lectures. Schedules, tickets, and detailed information are available from the website,  http://www.osfashland.org/ , or from the festival office on Pioneer Street.