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Silicon Valley Shakespeare

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: Innovate: We breathe new life into classic works through unique, vibrant and compelling interpretations of the text and keep the art of theatre relevant for modern audiences. Illuminate: We shed light on the classics through fresh interpretations, open eyes, expand minds, and foster a love of theatre in our community. By providing high-quality and affordable theatrical experiences and educational programs, we reach a diverse audience and build a new generation of theatregoers. Inspire: We create art that touches people on a personal level, is a reflection of the world in which we live, and inspires people to play a role in the arts community as artist, audience, donor or volunteer.

Target demographics: provide affordable access to the arts.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 10,000

Geographic areas served: The Silicon Valley

Programs: Silicon Valley Shakespeare is innovating the classics through unique and relevant theatrical experiences that illuminate and inspire modern audiences.

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary287

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

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.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have lived in the Bay Area my entire life. SVS (formerly Shady Shakespeare) is the most professional, passionate, and warmest group of people I've had the pleasure of working with. They know their Shakespeare, and do everything they can to respectfully keep the Bard alive in the modern day!

Former staff

Rating: 5

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.

Louis5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 4

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.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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."

darose46

Advisor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got to usher for Richard III and it was easily one of the more thrilling evenings of theatre I've had in some time. The staff was warm and engaging not to mention the performance was spellbinding. They are a valuable organization to this community.

Christie15

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization -- and a true labor of love combined with extremely high production values and excellent actors. We live in Marin County but make the trip down to see their productions because they are done with such care, love and enthusiasm.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The productions up in the redwoods of Saratoga should be shared by all children. We need to expose our kids more to the various stories and SVS is the best way!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to Silicon Valley Shakespeare almost since the started performing in Sanborn park. I've always enjoyed their shows and I think they do a great job of making Shakespeare accessible to a large audience at a very attractive price.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a current Board member, I am amazed by the dedication and commitment of everyone involved with SVS through the years and I look forward to being a part of great theatre that innovates, illuminates and inspires!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband, daughter and I have had a great time these past two summers enjoying SSV's productions at Willow Street Park. We bring a picnic, a blanket, and some wine and kick back for a great show. We loved this summer's "Taming of the Shrew" - especially the colorful costumes and circus theme. So creative! We will definitely be back next summer!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization does a fantastic job making Shakespeare (and related) productions affordable, accessible, and understandable for modern audiences. Their production values are astonishingly high, and the talent across the board is remarkable. And as if that wasn't impressive enough, they find a way to give aspiring theater students the opportunity to be involved in the productions and gain valuable real-world experience before they even graduate high school. These folks are needed (who else is doing Shakespeare in the South Bay?) and absolutely deserving of community support.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What a wonderful presence in the Silicon Valley! They have worked to transform a community park space and provide fun and FREE Shakespeare to thousands every summer. I'm so pleased that this organization exists!

Former staff

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with these great folks last Summer. They were 100% professional and welcoming and one of the best theatre companies I have ever worked with.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was so thrilled to discover Silicon Valley Shakespeare a couple of years ago. The shows are always so beautifully done and the outdoor setting makes for such a unique experience. I appreciate that the costs are also reasonable for the quality of production. Even my middle-school-age son has enjoyed several shows. Keep up the excellent work, SVS!! Our family appreciates you.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been going to see performances for over 15 years, back when they were "Shady Shakespeare". Always a highlight of the summer, even my (now 21-year old) son loves to go. I used to quietly 'translate' for him, but around 8 years old he got it. And in no small part to the excellent and approachable productions. Thank you!!!