I've been a patron of Silicon Valley Shakespeare (originally Shady Shakespeare) for at least a dozen years, and have seen every show they've produced. Time and again, I am impressed beyond words with the quality and creativity that this organization produces with its plays. I've seen a lot of Shakespeare, and there are certain interpretations of plays that have never been rivaled, with SVS reigning supreme. I eagerly await each summer's shows, relishing the magic of the redwood glen, and continuing to have my imagination delighted.
SV Shakespeare is an awesome source of inspiration in our community. From the performances at Sanborn Park in the summertime to the Willow Glen free performances our family and friends have experienced a great deal of enjoyment. SV Shakespeare promotes the Arts in our community!
I consider SVS, formally Shady Shakes, my home theatre. When I was fresh out of University, SVS was the first theatre company to hire me. The company has supported me and motivated me to take on greater roles and build lasting connections that have propelled me forward in the industry.
This year marked my ninth season with Silicon Valley Shakespeare, and I've already committed to returning again in 2016--that steadfast return, alone, tells a story about the company. There's a reason I keep coming back to SVS as an actor, designer, and staff member: its commitment to making theatre, particularly classic works, accessible to patrons of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and experience levels. Accessibility is often discussed in terms of physical or financial access, but SVS goes one step further by producing work that is also emotionally and intellectually relatable to those who have never experienced Shakespeare, or even theatre, before. I can't tell you the number of people who've told me, after seeing an SVS show, that this was either their first time seeing Shakespeare or their first time liking/understanding it. SVS brings that clarity of storytelling and commitment to the text to all the work it produces, whether that work is classical or modern, thereby creating and fostering a rich, nurturing environment for its artists and audiences alike.
In short: SVS cares deeply, which makes me care deeply, too, and that is a very good place to be.
Silicon Valley Shakespeare is in growth mode right now which warms my heart. Not content with simply "putting on plays", the management of this company endeavors to grow and raise the bar on the quality of their productions. This is the type of company for which I enjoy working. Kudos to them for not "just" existing but to make that existence better.
SVS is a welcome and inviting theatre company. They work effectively and fairly with their artists and technicians, and always strive to put on a fantastic production every year.
I have been involved with SV Shakes for several years; as a patron, as crew and technical director and as a partner.
I am President of The Audacity Performing Arts Project, a fellow theatre company specializing in after school programs for underfunded schools. And, in this capacity I have come to know SV Shakes as a trusted and committed partner.
What is special about SV Shakes is how they live their commitment to community and education. In SV Shakes we have a partner with whom we can share equipment, ideas and talent to the betterment of our entire community.
More than most their values and community commitment goes far beyond platitudes sprinkled on paper to impress board members and donors. These amazingly talented souls, every day, live their commitment to supporting performing arts within their entire community and that is something deeply special.
This vibrant company serves a necessary function in a community that increasingly is getting swarmed by the technology obsession. It provides vital opportunities for audiences to connect to the fantastical creative side of their souls, at a very reasonable price, while also providing critical opportunities for fledgling artists to have an outlet to develop in an area where those opportunities seemingly are dwindling.
Though I would judge most of the performances I see at Shady in the 4 to 4.5 rating, I give the organization a 5-star rating because of the active promotion of the staff to better the arts and better the experience throughout community they serve. Shady is a remarkably contributory organization and one of the greatest local resources for both audiences and developing artists. And while the rating of Life-changing seems a bit full of hyperbole to me, I have no doubt for some participants and audiences it is/has been. They definitely serve more than "A Lot."
SVS consistently provides creative, accessible and high quality productions. More importantly, their commitment to free admission for children and teens brings live theatre to many who might not have access otherwise. They have also provided training, internships, and acting opportunities to young people that are not easily found elsewhere in the Bay area. And they have created a family atmosphere among the company and the audience that I have never seen anywhere else.
Being involved with Shady Shakespeare has helped me deepen my understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare, continue my lifelong involvement in live theatre and support Shady's efforts to reach out to persons who might otherwise never see or appreicate live classical drama.