In 2017, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival celebrates 35 years as the Bay Area’s acclaimed producer of Free Shakespeare in the Park and powerful education programs for children and communities. SF Shakes’ first season as a non-profit organization was 1983. 35 years later, the company is still renowned for its signature summer productions as well as high-quality educational programming such as Bay Area Shakespeare Camps, Shakespeare On Tour , and Midnight Shakespeare .
For this historic year, SF Shakes will present Hamlet for the first time for Free Shakespeare in the Park. The play, about the questionable succession of King Claudius to the throne of Denmark over his nephew Prince Hamlet, speaks strongly about disenfranchisement, frustration, and the need for action during troubled times. Hamlet is torn between revenging his father’s murder and going along quietly with the new regime, including his mother Queen Gertrude. Finding an ally in the audience, he shares his inner turmoil in a series of soliloquies which have become familiar all over the world – from “Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I” to “To be or not to be” to “How all occasions do inform against me.”
35 FAMOUS SPEECHES IN 35 FAMOUS PLACES
With your help, in addition to Free Shakespeare in the Park, SF Shakes will present a series of free, short, site-specific performances called “35 Famous Speeches in 35 Famous Places” celebrating the Festival’s history in San Francisco. From February to August 2017, culminating in the opening performances of Hamlet in San Francisco, SF Shakes artists will perform familiar and beloved speeches from Shakespeare’s plays in venues throughout the city, "pop-up" style.
THE PORTABLE GLOBE: A NEW SET FOR FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
Invest in durable, modern, reusable set elements that will foster a deeper connection with our audiences, improve brand recognition, and reduce time and expenses for installation.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENT ARTIST AND INTERN COMPANIES Strengthen the artistic resources of the Festival and help us achieve further excellence by providing underwriting for scholarships, stipends, and advanced professional training for our Resident Artists and intern company .
NEW FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK MUSICAL: AS YOU LIKE IT
Music has always been an important element of Free Shakespeare in the Park. With your support, we will achieve a new standard of excellence and “up our game” by engaging renowned composers and our Resident Artists in a robust artistic development process during 2018. The creation process will incorporate themes central to contemporary living in the Bay Area: income disparity and our relationship to nature.