- by Jacob Coakley
in Theatre Buzz
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has received a $3,000,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The grant will go into the theatre’s general operating budget, where it will go towards maintaining and restoring the organization’s buildings, attracting visitors to experience live theater, and funding the work on the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion. In honor of the gift the theatre will be renamed to the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
THE PAUL G. ALLEN FAMILY FOUNDATION AWARDS OSF $3,000,000 GRANT
Generous grant supports re-naming rights for Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion to Allen Elizabethan Theatre
Ashland, Ore.—The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is the recipient of a generous $3,000,000 grant from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The grant supports the renaming of the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion to the Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
“The Allen family has a long history of partnership with the Festival,” said OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch. “Faye Allen brought her children to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year and began a relationship between the family and the Festival that has endured for more than 50 years. I am profoundly grateful for their commitment and support and thrilled that the Allen Elizabethan Theatre will honor the family's long history with the Festival.”
“OSF masterfully makes the classics relevant to new generations and introduces compelling contemporary work,” said Paul G. Allen. “OSF has been an Allen family tradition for many decades and we’re proud to support this exceptional theater group. Without a doubt it is one of the, if not the, top drama festivals in the country.”
Executive Director Cynthia Rider said, “The Allen Family’s history of participation and support at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is nothing short of inspirational. To have our largest theatre bear the name of one of our most loyal and generous supporters seems altogether fitting. We couldn’t be more delighted to be able to recognize their generosity in this way.”
This new gift is designed to support a broad array of priority areas for OSF, such as funding the work on the stage, maintaining and restoring the organization’s buildings, attracting visitors to experience live theater, in addition to other needs of the organization. The funds from the grant will be disbursed to OSF’s general operating budget.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation provided the lead gifts for the building of the Allen Pavilion in 1993, when the name of the theatre was changed to Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion. In 2002 the Foundation once again provided the lead gift for the building of the New Theatre, but passed on the opportunity to name the theatre and issued a naming challenge. That challenge was met in 2012 by a group of donors who renamed the New Theatre to the Thomas Theatre.
Jody Allen served as a member of OSF’s Board of Directors from 1996-2005 and again from 2006-2010. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has also provided ongoing programmatic support to OSF, including early and sustained funding for OSF’s American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. This contribution brings the Foundation’s total giving to over $11 million.
In another act of generosity, Mr. Allen loaned his copy of the 1623 Dryden-Puleston-Bemis copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, Published according to the True Originall Copies, to the Festival for viewing tours and special educational events. This complete Folio is one of the two finest copies remaining in private hands. The Folio was on loan to OSF from 2003 through 2006 and again in 2010 to celebrate OSF’s 75th anniversary season.