Arts & Theater

Who needs a calendar? Theaters prepare Shakespeare, so it must be summer

Disguised as a male actor, Viola (Jamie Ann Romero) sneaks a moment of tenderness with Will (William DeMeritt) in an Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of “Shakespeare in Love.”
Disguised as a male actor, Viola (Jamie Ann Romero) sneaks a moment of tenderness with Will (William DeMeritt) in an Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of “Shakespeare in Love.”

The curtain rises on a bright, varied summer theater season. Outdoor venues and Shakespeare take center stage in the region but, as always, there’s so much more.

California Shakespeare Festival

What: The acclaimed professional company in the East Bay is in its second year under artistic director Eric Ting. This season’s four productions are William Shakespeare’s “All’s Well That Ends Well” (through June 28) directed by Desdemona Chiang; “The Glass Menagerie” (July 5-28) directed by Lisa Portes; “Black Odyssey” (Aug. 9-Sept. 3) directed by Eric Ting; and “Measure for Measure” (Sept. 13-Oct. 8) directed by Tyne Rafaeli.

Where: Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays

Information: $20-$72; 510-548-9666,

Davis Shakespeare Ensemble

What: The solid ensemble based in Davis presents two productions in rotating repertory during the summer and then a third show after that – “The Three Musketeers” and “On the Town” (June 22-Aug. 6), and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Sept. 20-Oct. 19).

Where: Veterans Memorial Theatre, 203 E. 14th St., Davis

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Information: $15-$25; 530-802-0998,

Fair Oaks Theatre Festival

What: The festival hosts a variety of musical entertainment along with two theater productions in its intimate outdoor venue. “Reefer Madness” (June 16-July 23) and “Shrew!” (Aug. 11-Sept. 17).

Where: Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Ave., Fair Oaks (Old Fair Oaks Village)

When: 8:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; no performance July 4

Information: 916-966-3683,

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

What: This festival is in its 45th year. The professional company lead by Charles Fee presents Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and “The Hound of the Baskervilles” in rotating repertory.

Where: Sand Harbor in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park

When: July 8-Aug. 27; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays

Information: 775-298-0154,

Main Street Theatre Works

What: The long-running, much-loved community theater based in Jackson is producing Nell Benjamin’s “Doublewide, Texas” (June 23-July 22) and Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” (Aug. 11-Sept. 9).

When: 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays

Where: The Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre, 1127 N. Main St., Jackson

Information: $12-$20; doors open 6:30 p.m.; picnics, chairs and jackets encouraged;

Marin Shakespeare Company

What: The north bay professional company produces three shows for its summer season. “Much Ado About Nothing” (June 23 - July 23), “The Three Musketeers” (July 28-Aug. 27), “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (Sept. 1 - Sept. 24).

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays

Where: Forest Meadows Amphitheatre at Dominican University, 890 Belle Ave., San Rafael

Information: $12-$64; doors open one hour before show; picnics encouraged or Theatre Cafe snacks; chairs and jackets also encouraged; 415-499-4488,

Music Circus

What: The revered local summer institution under the leadership of producing artistic director Scott Klier presents five musicals this season: “Beauty and the Beast” (June 20-July 2); “On the Town” (July 11-16); “9 to 5: The Musical” (July 25-30); “Damn Yankees” (Aug. 8-13); and “Sister Act” (Aug. 22-27).

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays

Where: Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H St., Sacramento

Information: $45-$73; 916-557-1999,

Sacramento Shakespeare Festival

What: The summer theater festival produced by City Theatre at Sacramento City College features “The Comedy of Errors” (opening June 30) and “As You Like It” (opening July 7).

When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays; “The Comedy of Errors” performance dates: June 30, July 1, 9, 14, 16, 22, 27, 29; “As You Like It” performance dates: July 7, 8, 13, 15, 21, 23, 28, 30

Where: The William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in William Land Park, 3800 W. Land Park Drive, Sacramento

Information: $15-$18, nonreserved seating, children 6-12 free; children under 6 not admitted; $2 parking; concessions available, picnics welcomed;

Berkeley Rep

What: Director Mira Nair stages a world premiere musical adaptation of her film “Monsoon Wedding.”

When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday-Saturdays; 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through July 2.

Where: Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley

Information: $60-$110. 510-647-2949 or

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

What: The country’s largest and most professional repertory theater pushes creative envelopes while producing 12 shows a year in three theaters. Opening in June and running through mid-October in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre are “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Odyssey.” Playing indoors at the Angus Bowmer Theatre through October are “Julius Caesar” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

Continuing in the Thomas Theatre through October are “Henry IV: Part One,” “Henry IV: Part Two,” and “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo.” In the Bowmer Theatre are “Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles” (through July 6), and “Off the Rails” and “Unison” (both until October 28.)

When: In the summer, 10 shows are in rotating repertory at the three theaters. Schedules vary. There are matinees and evening performances every day but Monday.

Where: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, Ore.

Information: $10-$110; 800-219-8161,

Marcus Crowder: 916-321-1120, @marcuscrowder