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Nataki Garrett.

Offscript: Nataki Garrett, Shaking Up and Stabilizing Oregon Shakes

This week we talk to the leader of the West Coast powerhouse about the tough years just page and what lies ahead.

Offscript, American Theatre’s flagship podcast for a number of years, is back as a Facebook Live chat with the magazine’s editors and special guests as well as an audio podcast.

This week the editors talk to Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Nataki Garrett, who started leading the theatre less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic shut it down, and who has spent the time since securing the finances and future of the mega-theatre, which is also an economic anchor for its whole region. We discuss the theatre’s online efforts, which predated and will continue past the pandemic shutdown, as well as the new leadership structure Garrett feels will help lead the theatre through the challenges of the future. She also speaks very frankly about the pushback she’s received from some patrons, who seem to question her Shakespearean bona fides in tones that are either implicitly or openly racist and sexist. While she has no illusions about the transformative power of theatre by itself, she remains sanguine about its ability to impact open-hearted audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

You can download the episode here, or watch the original Facebook chat below.

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