Brings The Unfortunates to its 2013 Season

As part of its 2013 season, Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents The Unfortunates, an original play conceived and developed by 20 artists and actors at OSF’s in-house Midnight Project, where they showcased the concept and then work shopped it in OSF’s Black Swan Lab. 

The original musical follows a group of political prisoners as they await execution. Using blues, gospel and hip-hop, the soldiers help one terrified and non-musically inclined comrade transport himself to a fantasy world.

The play’s creators, Jon Beavers, Ian Merrigan and Ramiz Monsef had started the a cappella hip-hop group 3 Blind Mice while working as actors in New York City in 2005. They met singer-songwriter Casey Hurt, who brought his background in Americana, blues and gospel music, and the four stated writing songs based on events in “The St. James Infirmary Blues.” After playwright Kristoffer Diaz joined the team, that Midnight Project eventually became The Unfortunates.

“Perhaps the greatest gift I’ve received from working on The Unfortunates is how it has revitalized my belief in the capacity of music and theatre not only to inspire but to heal and to redeem,” said the play’s director, Shana Cooper. 

The production runs March 27-November 2 for 95 performances in Ashland’s Thomas Theatre. 

Founded in 1935, Oregon Shakespeare Festival is among the oldest and largest theatre companies in the United States, drawing nearly 400,000 people to its plays every year.

The Unfortunates was funded in part by a $35,000 grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust.