I’m setting (most of the action in) the novella in Ashland, a little city in southern Oregon. It’s kind of a college town, though best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It’s a funny little city — except for the Portland metro area, most of Oregon is what I think of as conservative, country-music types of cities and towns (I’ve lived in a couple of them, in the mid-Willamette Valley and in eastern Oregon–and by that, I only mean that you turn on the radio, and you’ll find mostly country-music stations). Ashland is interesting, in that it has such a large arts & theater-centric population and tourist draw. So it has a more varied (and higher end) restaurant selection, and of course the live theaters (not just those in the Shakespeare Festival) and also a more liberal, artsy feel to it (the city itself).
One of those theaters, the Craterian, I’m using as my template for the theater my hero owns. But, er, due to Unfortunate Circumstances, it’s closed for the 2007 season.
Anyway, I had a hard time deciding between Moliere and Tennessee Williams when choosing the play that had been interrupted due to those Unfortunate Circumstances, but ultimately chose The Glass Menagerie. But, at one point in the novella, my hero and heroine see part of a play at the Shakespeare Festival…and lo and behold! What is on their 2007 playbill (the story takes place in August 2007) but Tartuffe.
I just love it when things come together.
The fun thing is, I’ll probably be there this time next year…deadlines kept us from traveling to Ashland this year, but I’m determined we’ll go next year.
Anyway — two other reasons for choosing this location, and southern Oregon in general:
Nice vacation spots and visitor stuff, if you’re ever heading that way.