Tri-Valley Arts Programs Show Innovation and Resilience

Tri-Valley performing arts organizations have been severely impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic but they are resilient and hopeful as they press on to offer what they can to the region and its patrons. Due to physical distancing requirements and closure of the physical venues, curtailing not only public performances but also rehearsals, many performing arts institutions are adapting by offering online options, streaming performances and planning for a robust return to the stage when possible. Be sure to take a moment to review the web sites and online listings available for each of the organizations and venues below for details on what is currently avaiable and what will be coming soon!

Civic Arts Programs and Venues

 

Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center     The Firehouse Arts Center opened in downtown Pleasanton seven years ago, and has quickly made a name for itself in the regional arts community. The facility’s slogan is “Setting the Arts on Fire,” and that goal is met by inspiring passion through creative expression.

The facility began life in 1929 as Pleasanton’s main fire station. Built of locally manufactured bricks, plans for its rebirth began almost a decade ago, and the results are a stunning 17,000-square-foot showcase consisting of a 227-seat studio theater, the 2,000 square feet Harrington Gallery, two large art classrooms, and a spacious lobby for receptions and events.

As the theater pivots to meet the new demands of the entertainment industry through COVID, there are new events listed each month on their web site events calendar. For more detailed information about Firehouse events, exhibits, and classes, as well as to purchase tickets online, access www.firehousearts.org. The box office can also be reached at (925) 931-4848.

Pleasanton’s Amador Theater     The Amador Theater opened in the 1930s and served as Pleasanton’s principal performing arts facility until the Firehouse Arts Center came onto the scene. Currently, there are no productions scheduled for this season while the facility undergoes some much-needed repairs and upgrades.

Bankhead Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center     Like the Firehouse Arts Center, the Livermore Performing Arts Center is a relative newcomer to the Tri-Valley. The 500-seat Bankhead Theater was completed in 2007 and hosted more than 200 performance and civic events reaching a combined audience of more than 76,000 individuals, including over 14,000 school children, in its first season. It has been busy ever since.

The Livermore venue has been reinventing many of their scheduled events into virtual happenings which they are constantly updating on their web site event calendar. In an effort to showcase local musicians and artists, the LVPAC will be offering a free, virtual concert series, Vineyard Vibes. Starting in mid-September on Sundays at 6:00pm, anyone can enjoy a variety of different genres.  For furthers details on the concerts please visit www.hacienda.org/ho-community/ho-cn-2020-vineyard-vibes-free-concerts.

A full calendar of LVPAC events can be found at livermoreperformingarts.org. Tickets are available at the web site or by calling (925) 373-6800.

San Ramon Performing Arts     The Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center is the primary home of San Ramon Performing Arts, San Ramon’s cultural arts program. The 600-seat theater is temporarily closed to ensure the health of the community but will return next season with music, comedy, and more.

For a complete schedule as well as to purchase tickets, access www.sanramonperformingarts.com or call (925) 973-3343.

The Concerts at Wente Vineyards     Combine a gourmet meal in a beautiful vineyard setting with impressive headliners and what do you get? The Concerts at Wente Vineyards. The recently concluded 2019 season featured acts like Seal, Rick Springfield featuring Greg Kihn, & Tommy Tutone, Randy Houser, The Tenors and Postmodern Jukebox, Styx, The Temptations and The Four Tops, Daughtry, Brett Eldredge, REO Speedwagon, Boz Scaggs & Aaron Neville, Josh Groban, The Doobie Brothers, & Matt Nathanson who headlined #MakeTime for Wine & Music 2019. Keep an eye on wentevineyards.com next year to find out who will be performing in 2021.

Individual Arts and Performance Groups

 

Amador Valley Quilters     Amador Valley Quilters was founded in 1981 and has over 400 members throughout the Tri-Valley and beyond. The guild works to preserve and continue the traditions, culture, and history of quilting, including educating members on quilting techniques. The group also has a significant charitable arm, donating around 800 quilts annually to various agencies in the Bay Area through their “Community Quilts” project. For more information, access www.amadorvalleyquilters.org or email mail@amadorvalleyquilters.org.

Cantabella Children’s Chorus     “Beautiful singing nurturing beautiful children,” is the slogan of the Cantabella Children’s Chorus, a non-profit that offers music education in Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin for children from kindergarten through high school.  Recently, a new artistic director Ofer dal Lal took the reins from founder Bee Chow, who started the group in 1992. Cantabella performs in annual holiday and spring concerts, at local corporate and civic functions, and in collaboration with other musical organizations. For more information, visit www.cantabella.org or call (925) 292-2663.

Del Valle Fine Arts     Del Valle Fine Arts present five regular season concerts each year bringing world class chamber music to the Bankhead Theater in Livermore. The 2019-20 season featured performances by the Parker Quartet, Akropolis Quintet, Mark Anderson, Jennifer Kloetzel and Robert Koenig, and Ensemble Vivant. A volunteer organization, Del Valle is supported by ticket sales and the generous contributions of its patrons. Access www.delvallefinearts.org for details.

Free Shakespeare in the Park     Each year, the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival schedules performances of one of Shakespeare’s plays in the Amador Valley Community Park at Santa Rita Road and Black Avenue in Pleasanton, as well as venues in San Francisco, Cupertino, and Redwood City. This year, the featured play King Lear was performed and streamed live on YouTube from McLaren Park’s Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in San Francisco from August 2-9. The Merry Wives of Windsor is on the menu for the traveling troupe later in 2020. For more information, access www.sfshakes.org.

Harmony Fusion Chorus     A chapter of Sweet Adelines International, Harmony Fusion Chorus is a women’s chorus performing four-part a cappella in the barbershop style. The chorus, under the direction of Barbara Vander Putten, meets Monday evenings at the Hill & Valley Club, 1808 B Street, Hayward, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. It is advised to contact the group first to confirm in person rehearsals during this fluid time of gathering restrictions. Visitors are welcome to listen or join in the singing. For information on the group or to catch their next performance, visit www.harmonyfusion.org or call (925) 373-0210.

Las Positas College Performing Arts     Las Positas College offers performances including music, theater, speech, and dance in its main stage and black box theaters, all designed to provide knowledge, training, and practical experience to its participants. Previous theatrical productions include Chicago on the main stage and Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter, The Importance of Being Earnest, and A Raisin in the Sun in the black box theater. All performances are held in the Barbara F. Mertes Center for the Arts on campus. The remainder of the 2020 Spring season has been canceled for live events. Information on music, speech, and dance events is available at www.laspositascollege.edu.

Livermore-Amador Symphony     To ensure the safety of audience members and musicians, the symphony has canceled the scheduled performance in 2020. However, the Livermore-Amador Symphony has announced dates for their upcoming season starting on February 21, 2021. Concerts will highlight the music of Beethoven, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Mozart, Marquez, and Dvorak. Please stay tuned and stay in touch. Your community orchestra is here for you, even if they can’t be in concert together. All performances take place at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater. For further information, access www.livamsymph.org.

Livermore Art Association     The Livermore Art Association (LAA), founded in 1957, aims to promote public interest and appreciation of art and to encourage the artistic development of its membership. The group supports the Livermore Art Association Gallery at 2155 3rd Street, Livermore, a co-op sales opportunity for qualified member artists to display their work for sale and/or rental, and sponsors rotating exhibits of members' art at a variety of local merchants. LAA members help judge local school artwork, teach art in the schools and demonstrate arts and crafts to organizations and community functions by request. Beloved events include Art on the Green on and ArtWalk, both in downtown Livermore. More information may be found at www.livermoreartassociation.org.

Livermore Valley Opera     The headline event for this Livermore Valley Opera season was to be The Elixir of Love which will be postponed until the 2021 season. Opera lovers will want to bookmark their calendars for the upcoming performances of Tosca which are scheduled March 6th through March14th, 2021. Be sure to access www.livermorevalleyopera.com for all the details on these and other performances.

Pleasanton Art League     Founded in 1969, the Pleasanton Art League is a group of local artists and patrons who are dedicated to making the visual arts an integral part of the fabric of life in the Tri-Valley Area. Paint Pleasanton takes place from September 21 to September 27 where anyone is urged to paint their interpretation of the streets of Pleasanton and submit for judging. PAL also sponsors a variety of classes and workshops at both the Firehouse and the Bothwell. Access www.pal-art.com for details.

Pleasanton Chamber Players     The Pleasanton Chamber Players, founded in 2003, are a loosely-knit group of professional musicians who perform and teach in the Bay Area. Under the leadership of classical harpist  Dominique Piana, the group has become the ensemble-in-residence at Pleasanton’s Firehouse Arts Center. Piana is also available for solo harp performances. For more information, visit www.DominiquePiana.com or call  (925) 455-5333.

Pleasanton Community Concert Band     Pleasanton Community Concert Band, founded in 1975 and conducted by Bob Williams since 1989, provides an opportunity for local residents to develop their talents and participate in musical performances. The band sponsors three free concerts each year and performs at a variety of other events. Upcoming appearances include a September 26 show at the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market, and a Family Concert and Holiday Concert which will be announced when restrictions allow. For more information, visit pleasantonband.org or call (925) 846-5897.

Shakespeare’s Associates     Producers of the annual Livermore Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare’s Associates currently performs two plays each year at Wente Vineyards Estate Winery. Audiences have thrilled to Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Jon Jory among other productions. This season may just include Virtual Trivia Night until crowds can gather once again. Go to livermoreshakes.org or call (925) 443-BARD (2273) for additional information.

The Sunol Repertory Theatre     Since 1982, the SRT has produced a show benefiting the Sunol Glen School, donating over $130,000 in total. This year’s production The Treasure of Shiver River was to take the stage but has since been canceled. Look for an announcement of the 2021 production at www.sunol.net/srt.

Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre     This popular non-profit volunteer organization recently announced the schedule for its 35th year of musical theater. Next season, they are hoping to perform Damn Yankees and Annie in January and July 2021, respectively. The Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre also offers a children’s theater camp every summer. Call (925) 462-2121 or access trivalleyrep.com for details.

Valley Concert Chorale     Now in its 55th year the Valley Concert Chorale and its director, John Emory Bush, has recently announced they will sit this season out while they figure out how best to rehearse and perform while keeping everyone safe. Please visit their web site towards the end of the year for further updates at valleyconcertchorale.org or call (925) 866-4003.

Valley Dance Theatre     Valley Dance Theatre (VDT) has been providing professionally staged dance performances featuring talented local dancers since 1980. Now the resident ballet company of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater, VDT will bring its full-length production of The Nutcracker to the Bankhead stage for a series of performances in December. The company also presents a mid-year showcase of local talent and choreography and runs an affiliated school offering classical dance training in studio classes for ages 2.5 to adult. For tickets, information, and more, visit valleydancetheatre.com or call (925) 243-0925.

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