Arts & Theater

Sacramento and regional theaters prepare their summer seasons

“Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land” is in repertory through October at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
“Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land” is in repertory through October at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Summer naturally brings out the Shakespeare in regional theaters, but there’s a tremendous amount of variety as well. Here’s a summary of selected productions taking place outside and indoors in Northern California and southern Oregon.

B Street

The busy theater works year-round producing shows on two stages, and this summer’s productions have a sense of immediacy about them. “The Explorers Club” by Nell Benjamin, June 13-July 26 on the Mainstage; “Grounded” by George Brant, in B3 July 7-Aug. 8; and the B Street commission and world premiere “Bars and Measures” by Idris Goodwin, Aug. 18-Sept. 19.

Where: 2711 B St., Sacramento

Information: (916) 443-5300;

Capital Stage

The science morality drama “Uncanny Valley” by Thomas Gibbons, part of the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere series. Directed by Jonathan Williams, June 17-July 19.

Where: Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento

Information: (916) 995-5464;

Davis Shakespeare Festival

The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble under the artistic direction of Rob Salas presents “Twelfth Night” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” in repertory June 25-Aug. 2. Working in both productions will be Matt K. Miller, Susanna Risser, Matt Edwards, Martine Fleurisma and Kristi Webb.

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

Information: (530) 802-0998,

Fair Oaks Theater Festival

“Seussical The Musical,” directed by Bob Irvin, June 19-July 19; “12 Dancing Princesses,” directed by Tracy Shearer, July 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 1; “The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical,” Aug. 7-Sept. 6; “The Best of Broadway: Broadway Re-Viewed!” directed by Bob Irvin and Corey D. Winfield, Sept. 11-27.

Where: The Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Ave., Fair Oaks

Information: (916) 966-3683;

Music Circus

The 65th Music Circus Season features six Tony Award-winning shows and four Wells Fargo Pavilion premieres. “My Fair Lady,” June 9-14; “Big River,” June 23-28; “Bye Bye Birdie,” July 7-12; “Peter Pan,” July 21-26; “West Side Story,” Aug. 4-9; “Hair,” Aug. 18-23.

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

Information: (916) 557-1999;

Sacramento Shakespeare Festival

The long-running festival produced by Sacramento City College presents two of Shakespeare’s most popular titles in repertory July 3-Aug. 2. “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Christine Nicholson, and “As You Like It” directed by Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin.

Where: William A. Carroll Amphitheatre, William Land Park, 3901 Land Park Drive, Sacramento

Information: (916) 558-2228.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

OSF has become a nonprofit arts industry leader as it commissions, produces and markets great theater that’s both accessible and challenging. OSF’s outdoor venue, the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, opens in June with “Antony and Cleopatra,” the world premiere musical “Head Over Heels” (music and lyrics by the Go-Go’s) and a new adaptation of “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Six plays already have opened and are playing in repertory, including most recently “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and “Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land.” The 2015 season concludes Nov. 1. No plays are staged on Mondays.

Where: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Ore.


California Shakespeare Theater

The prestigous East Bay theater presents the last season of artistic director Jonathan Moscone. The plays are “Twelfth Night,” directed by Christopher Liam Moore, May 30-June 21. “Life Is a Dream” by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, directed by Loretta Greco, begins previews July 8, runs July 11-Aug. 2. The special one-night presentation “Virgins to Villains: My Journey With Shakespeare’s Women,” written and performed by Robin Goodrin Nordli, July 20. “The Mystery of Irma Vep” by Charles Ludlam, directed by Jonathan Moscone, begins previews Aug. 12, runs Aug.15-Sept. 6. “King Lear,” directed by Amanda Dehnert, begins previews Sept. 16, runs Sept. 19-Oct. 11.

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

Information: (510) 548-9666.

Murphys Creek Theatre

The nonprofessional theater company will present its popular Theatre Under the Stars production at Feeney Park Amphitheatre with “The Winter’s Tale,” directed Graham Green, June 19-July 18; and “Equivocation” by Bill Cain, a smart play about Shakespeare and his times, Aug. 7-Sept. 6.

Where: Feeney Park Amphitheatre off of Highway 4 and the Black Bart Playhouse, 580 S. Algiers, Murphys


Main Street Theatre Works

The rural theater presents under-the-stars performances of “Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll and Hyde Play” by Lauren Wilson, June 19-July 18; and “Vanya and Sonia and Sasha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, Aug. 7-Sept. 5.

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

Information: (209) 295-4499;

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

The festival, in its beautiful outdoor setting, offers Shakespeare’s popular tragedy of young lovers “Romeo and Juliet,” directed by Charles Fee, July 10-Aug. 22; and the venerable musical fantasy about young lovers “The Fantasticks” by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, directed by Victoria Bussert, July 17-Aug. 23.

Where: Sand Harbor State Park, 2005 Highway 28, Incline Village, Nev.

Information: (800) 747-4697;

Berkeley Rep

From the innovative company comes “Notes From the Field: Doing Time in Education, The California Chapter,” a special presentation of a new theater piece created, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith, directed by Leah C. Gardiner, with music composed and performed by Marcus Shelby, July 14–Aug.1.

Where: Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley

Information: (510) 647–2949;

Santa Cruz Shakespeare

The resuscitated much-loved festival has a full slate of four productions: “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by Laura Gordon, July 3-Aug. 30; “The Liar” by David Ives, adapted from Corneille, directed by Art Manke, July 24-Aug. 29; “Macbeth,” directed by Kirsten Brandt, Aug. 8-30; and “The Rover” by Aphra Behn, directed by Katie Burris, Aug. 18-26.

Where: Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen, Theater Arts Center, Meyer Drive at Heller Drive, UC Santa Cruz.

Information: (831) 459-2159.