Published July 18, 2000
Volume 8, Number 7

S.F. Shakespeare Festival Comes to Amador Valley Park

Summertime is outdoor theater time, as seen in this view of a recent S.F. Shakespeare Festival performance. 
It's a first for Pleasanton when the prestigious San Francisco Shakespeare Festival brings "King Henry IV, Part I" as "Free Shakespeare in the Park" to the Amador Valley Community Park on July and August evenings. The event is sponsored by Hacienda's Providian Financial who, along with park neighbor the Tri-Valley Herald/ANG Newspapers and other sponsors, is collaborating with the City of Pleasanton to present the 18-year Bay Area tradition locally. 

To add to the festivities, actors from the festival will offer a two-week camp for students 8 to 14 years old, also sponsored by the City of Pleasanton. 

In William Shakespeare's day, his legendary productions were performed in open-air theaters in England and this production will have the look and feel of an original. The park will be transformed into an outdoor theater with sets and scenery depicting the War of the Roses era. Lavishly-costumed actors will portray the classic tale of intrigue, comedy and combat. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on July 21-23, 28-30 and August 4-6. Bring a picnic dinner, and a blanket to sit on. 

Directed by Albert Takazauckas, "King Henry IV, Part I," is a coming-of-age drama about Hal, Prince of Wales, who prefers to spend time with his friend, Sir John Falstaff, at the Boar's Head Tavern and other questionable night spots rather than in his father's court. The play asks how Hal can emerge as a noble and honorable prince to become King Henry V, and questions the nature of honor, morality, justice, betrayal and the fate of the English throne. 

"We believe Pleasanton is ideal for professional theater in a community setting, and we've been waiting for the opportunity to perform there," said managing director Toby Leavitt. "We hope families, schoolmates, and office mates will join us for an evening of unforgettable theater of top-notch quality."

A number of the Festival's actors will also be on hand for Bay Area Shakespeare Camps' two-week workshop, which takes place August 14-25 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The curriculum caters to both novice and experienced young performers and a 10:1 student/teacher ratio makes for great, personalized instruction. 

For information on either event, call Andy Jorgensen at the Pleasanton Parks and Community Services at (925) 931-5340.

Also in this issue ...