Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company launches season
The Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company launches its inaugural season, beginning this weekend with Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” followed by “Julius
Caesar” and rounding off with Christopher Marlowe’s “Doctor Faustus.” The season runs through Nov. 3, with the shows performed in repertory so audiences can enjoy multiple shows in the same weekend.
The Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company was founded by Artistic Director Aidan O’Reilly. A Sonoma native, O’Reilly is the first visually impaired student to receive a degree from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After three national tours with the American Shakespeare Center, O’Reilly returned to Sonoma in 2011 to direct Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” He brought in the talents of Chad Bradford (MFA, Penn State), Daniel Jimenez (BFA, Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program), Sharon Combs (Los Angeles) and Jocelynn Joy Murphy (New York). All of these performers have returned to Sonoma this fall for this upcoming season, taking place at the Little Theater at Sonoma Valley High School.
This season, the company will provide educational workshops to the students. These workshops are offered in collaboration with TSN, the Teacher Support Network, and with the help of Jane Martin, teacher at Sonoma Valley High School and general manager of the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Each student will have the chance to audition for the Sonoma Valley Shakespeare Company Internship Program. Up to six students will be invited to join the Intern Company and will have the opportunity to perform, understudy roles and participate behind the scenes.
“As You Like It,” which O’Reilly will direct, opens the season with shows on Sept. 14, 15, 21, 22 and 29; Oct. 7, 14, 21; and Nov. 2. Throughout the entire season, shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday take place at 7:30 p.m.; while Sunday matinees are set at 2 p.m.
Chad Bradford steps into the director’s chair for Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar,” which opens on Thursday, Sept. 27, for a preview and runs Sept. 28; Oct. 5, 6, 13, 18, 20 and 25; and Nov. 2.
O’Reilly will resume the role of director for “Doctor Faustus,” which follows a man determined to uncover the mysteries of the universe, even if it means selling his soul to the devil. The show opens for preview on Thursday, Oct. 11, and runs Oct. 12, 19 and 27, and Nov. 1. There will be a special midnight showing on Oct. 27 in addition to the 7:30 p.m. performance.
Each show will begin with live music from local musicians. Tickets are $10 for students, $15 for adults and must be purchased at the door.