Oregon Shakespeare Festival (B): The 2015-2025 Long Range Plan

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (B): The 2015-2025 Long Range Plan

By
William F. Meehan, Emily Sophia Knapp
2015|Case No.SM104B| Length 9 pgs.

In September 2015, Executive Director Cynthia Rider and Artistic Director Bill Rauch submitted the 2015-2025 OSF Long Range Plan to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival board. With the festival leadership finally in place and stable, they collectively created their first strategic plan, and the company headed into its 81st season with an 82-page guiding document. Throughout his first eight years, Bill Rauch had remained notable for his vision and drive for the company to grow and change.  The theater’s national profile developed substantially, making it “something of a mecca for the theater arts.” Major programming and capital expansions occurred, as did unforeseen challenges such as an increase in nearby forest fires and a successful unionization attempt.  As Rider and Rauch looked to build on their successes and handle these challenges, they developed a new kind of strategic plan.  More concise, external facing, and focused on vision than previous plans, the new document sought to push the company into an ambitious future.  Whether the new plan has stretched OSF far enough, or perhaps too far, remains to be seen.

Learning Objective
In conjunction with case SM-104 “Oregon Shakespeare Festival,” this B case seeks to provide another data point in understanding the festival’s strategic development. The original case tracks the strategic planning process at OSF when the festival was a more regional enterprise undergoing a major leadership transition; this B case picks up the narrative, illuminating how the first strategic plan played out and how the planning context has since changed.
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