Free Shakespeare in the Park!
June 9 – 25, 2017
Thursdays – Sundays 7:00 pm
Willow Street Park, San Jose
“Why, then the world ’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.”
The buffoonish, boastful Falstaff has his eye on the married Mistress Ford and Mistress Page! These merry wives are repelled by Falstaff, but feign interest to amuse themselves and expose his brazen advances. Master Ford’s jealousy rises, the merry wives hatch plans, and a flurry of suitors make advances on the lovely Anne Page.
This delightful Shakespeare comedy, set in the world of reality television, is a battle of wits, certain to leave you in stitches!
* $10 donation is gently recommended.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Doll Piccotto
Rating: E for Everyone – This piece is specifically designed to be fun for the whole family! There should be no material that would cause concern.
Sir John Falstaff is down on his luck. Overweight, underworked and no beer money—what’s a knight to do? Using his brains and not unconsiderable bulk, the knight devises a plan to come into money by wooing the two wealthiest women in town. Problem is—they’re married. But this doesn’t stop our intrepid hero, who is convinced that the wives will willingly deceive their husbands to keep him in coins and kisses.
The husbands through village gossip hear of Sir John’s amorous advances to their wives. Master Page is not worried. Master Ford, however, has jealous doubts about his wife’s faithfulness and decides to put it to the test. He approaches Sir John in disguise and weaves a story about how he himself is in love with Mistress Ford and would like to pay Falstaff to woo her. He tells the knight that Mistress Ford’s faithfulness is known throughout the village, but if anyone can break her down, Sir John can, and once she’s been unfaithful once, he can blackmail her to do it again. Falstaff, unsurprisingly, falls for this plot hook, line, and sinker, and reveals to Master Ford the time and place of their first assignation.
The wives, seeing right through Falstaff, have other plans for the rotund Romeo and begin to exact revenge. Setting up a meeting time with Mistress Ford when her husband is away, Mistress Page bursts in on the “tryst”, telling her friend (in easy earshot of a concealed Sir John) that her husband has heard about her affair and is on his way to the house!. Fearful of discovery, Sir John reveals himself and begs for help in his escape. Concealing him in a laundry basket, the wives have their servants remove the “dirty laundry” from the house and dump it in the river for washing.
Arriving at the house, Master Ford (with a rabble of men from the village) encourages everyone to search, convinced that he will find his wife’s lover. Finding nothing, he abashedly admits his wrong and begs forgiveness of his wife. Returning to Sir John in disguise again, Master Ford waits to hear the story his wife’s faithfulness, only to be told that the “deed” couldn’t be completed because of the husband’s interference, but that ANOTHER assignation has been arranged! Leaving in a jealous fury, Master Ford again makes plans to catch his wife and the large Lothario in the act.
The wives again set up an assignation using Mistress Ford as bait. Again, Mistress Page interrupts with news that Master Ford is on the way and that he’s talking about the laundry basket. Falstaff again reveals himself, begs for help, refuses to get in the basket, so they wives take him upstairs and dress him in women’s clothing.. When Master Ford and his cronies arrive, they search again, focusing expressly on the laundry basket.. In the midst of this, Mistress Ford calls to Mistress Page to bring the ‘old woman’ down, relating to everyone that it her maid’s aunt, more commonly known as the “Witch of Brainford”. Coming downstairs in disguise, Falstaff is vigorously beaten by Master Ford and the other men.
At this point, the wives want to play one more trick on the sorry knight, but first decide to tell their husbands as Master Ford’s jealous has started to get out of control. Once they are informed, they decide to get the whole town of Windsor involved. It takes some convincing, but they have Falstaff dress as the mythical figure Herne the Hunter and meet them for an assignation in Windsor forest where Falstaff will be able to enjoy the company of both wives at once. He meets them there in costume and again, at the moment of triumph, the wives, hearing a noise, run away leaving Falstaff to fend for himself against a hoarde of Windsor folk dressed as fairies intent on punishing those of bad intent. After being thoroughly scared and pinched Falstaff is saved by the wives who reveal the trick and invite him back to Windsor for ale and festivities.
Ross is happy to return to SVS where he last appeared on stage in 2013 as Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice. Other SVS shows include The Merchant of Venice (Shylock), King Lear (Lear) and Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato twice!) Other shows include Finian’s Rainbow (SBMT), Death of a Salesman (BWTC) and the World Premiere of Frankenstein (CLTC). By day, Ross is a Security Management professional and holds an MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.
James is pleased to return after appearing last year in The Three Musketeers as the Comte de Rochforte. An SVS regular since the early days of the company, James has appeared in numerous productions throughout the Silicon Valley. Past credits with SVS include the Fool in King Lear, Jacques in As You Like It, and Will Hayes in Ken Ludwig’s Shakespeare in Hollywood. He would like to give special thanks to his Doll and his Ohana for all their patience, love and support.
This is Brian’s first performance with SVS. Past performances include Rx (Simon), Smash (Chichester Erskine) and Dead Accounts (Phil) for Dragon Theater. At The Pear Theatre Brian has been seen in House & Garden (Barry), Arcadia (Ezra Chater) as well as The Beard Of Avon (Richard Burbage). Two other roles Brian has enjoyed could be seen in Death Of A Salesman (Howard & Stanley) at Palo Alto Players. He’s happy to be playing with SVS this Summer!
Cynthia is honored to return to SVS after playing Holofernes last summer in Love’s Labours Lost. Favorite recent roles include The Skin of Our Teeth (Mrs. Antrobus), and An Ideal Husband, (Mrs. Cheveley) at Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Proof (Claire) at Hillbarn, The Importance of Being Earnest (Lady Bracknell) at LPC, and Pride and Prejudice (Lady Catherine/Mrs. Gardiner) at Livermore Shakespeare. Cynthia holds a BFA in Acting and a Post Baccalaureate in Directing from UC Santa Cruz.
Valerie is thrilled to work with SVS again, having last appeared in 2015 as Antipholus of Syracuse in A Comedy of Errors. A San Jose native, her favorite on-going roles are Mom to amazing kids Alicia, Alex and Austin and wife to insanely awesome husband Matt. Many thanks to SVS for the chance to create magic under the stars and special thanks to our lovely audience members for supporting local art!
Caitlin Lawrence Papp
Caitlin is excited to be a part of her second season with Silicon Valley Shakespeare having previously been in last season’s The Three Musketeers (Milady). Past roles include Anne Hathaway in The Beard Of Avon (The Pear Theatre), Cora in Calendar Girls (City Lights Theater), Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Festival Theatre Ensemble) and Lana Sherwood in Its A Wonderful Life: A Radio Show (Broadway By The Bay).
Drew Benjamin Jones
(Master Page understudy)
Drew returns to Silicon Valley Shakespeare for his third year. Previous shows include Taming of the Shrew (Tranio), The Tempest (Caliban), and Antony and Cleopatra (Alexas) with SVS, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Assassins (LASC), Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War (CLTC), and several roles in ShakesBEERience (Buck Hill Productions). Drew received his BA in Theatre from SJSU.
Kyle is immensely pleased to make his SVS debut in the company of such a splendid cast and crew. Kyle is also gratified to finally cross “Perform Shakespeare in the Park” off his bucket list. Recent favorite roles include Miracle on 34th Street (Kris Kringle), A Christmas Carol (Scrooge), And Then There Were None (Mackenzie), and Inherit the Wind (Brady). Kyle is also grateful beyond words to his patient and loving family.
(Mistress Quickly understudy)
Sara is tickled to return to Silicon Valley Shakespeare’s stage. She has previously performed in their productions of Comedy of Errors, Tartuffe, 12th Night, and The Imaginary Invalid. Luna has most recently preformed in City Lights Theatre’s production of Dealing Dreams. Other previous works include Dragon Productions Theatre (Some Girls, Private Eye) and Renegade Theatre Experiment (The Drunken City, Collapse, Green Whales, Eat the Runt, All This Intimacy) and she takes immense pleasure in readings of new and local playwrights. Thanks to all for your ongoing support of the arts.
Skip is excited to work with SVS. This is his first role in the Bay Area. In Atlanta and Boulder he was seen in King Lear, Henry IV pt1, The Tragical History of Dr Faustus, and Terry Pratchett’s Mort. Love and Good Luck to Josie Burgin Lawson, whose Georgia O’Keeffe at Tabard Theatre opens the day after Merry Wives closes.
(Sir Hugh, Caius understudy)
Erik appeared on the SVS stage in Shakespeare In Hollywood (Joe E. Brown), Othello (Roderigo), Pride and Prejudice (Sir William/Mr. Gardiner), Pericles (Boult), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Snout/Wall), Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), and many others. Other favorite plays include A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), Beauty Queen of Leenane (Ray), and Arsenic and Old Lace (Teddy) for Northside Theatre Company. During the day he is a software engineer, making smartphones do interesting things.
Christian is super, incredibly, excitedly, and justifiably thrilled to make his SVS debut! Last seen as Tim in Noises Off at Broadway West, some of his favorite past performances include It’s a Wonderful Life (Clarence), Art (Yvon), and Arsenic and Old Lace (Dr. Einstein). When not acting, Christian is a filmmaker (check out his work at chrispiz.com). He’s thankful to his friends, family, and most of all, his wife Evelyn for her support, love, and Oreo-stuffed brownies.
Merav is thrilled to make her first appearance with Silicon Valley Shakespeare and is elated that this performance marks her full-production acting debut after an eighteen-year hiatus. Recently, Merav played Lesley Rosen and Snetzky the Shepherd in Theatre Chevruta’s staged readings of Cantorial and Fools. Some of her favorite past roles include Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Corey Bratter (Barefoot in the Park), Gorgeous (The Sisters Rosensweig), and Rosie (Bye Bye, Birdie).
(Anne Page understudy)
Erin is delighted to return to SVS this summer, seen last in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Maria). Along with her love for Shakespeare, she spends her time as a House Manager for City Lights Theater Company, assists with other various technical aspects of theatre, and graphic designs. She would like to thank her family for their continual support.
(Mistress Ford understudy)
Melissa is delighted to return for her 11th season. SVS credits include Comedy of Errors (Dromio of Syracuse, TBA Finalist), Othello (Emilia), and Much Ado… (Hero). Credits elsewhere: Tigers Be Still (Sherry) at City Lights, How to Succeed… (Miss Jones) and Flower Drum Song (Helen Chao) at WVLO, and Manon Lescaut (Fanciulla) at West Bay Opera. Additionally, Melissa moonlights as a makeup designer/artist (SVS, Pixar, Disney Channel UK, Opera San Jose) and SVS’s Education Director.
Christian is proud to make his debut with the Silicon Valley Shakespeare Company. Christian most recently performed in Tabard Theatre’s 10 in 10: 2017 production. Other notable past credits include Ragtime (Willie Conklin), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II), Grease (Rodger) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Schroeder). Christian has his degree in Environmental Studies from UCSB and works at a clean-tech incubator in San Jose. He would like to thank his family for their love and support.
Carl is excited to be returning to SVS, with whom he died last year by a sharp twist of the neck in Julius Caesar (Young Cato). He is sad to be leaving Branham High School, where he not only earned the title of Mr. Branham for his fashion skills but also performed in numerous plays, such as Arsenic and Old Lace (Jonathan) and Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro), and is looking forward to college. He hopes you enjoy the show.
Rea Kapur is so excited to play in her first show with Silicon Valley Shakespeare! She’s worked with West Valley College theatre and American Improv Theatre, while taking classes with First Take Acting School and trying to graduate high school.
Doll Piccotto is donning her directing hat again. You may have seen her last SVS production, Pericles, Prince of Tyre on the Sanborn stage a few years back, done Sci-Fi style. This time, she has taken on The Merry Wives of Windsor in a reality TV vein. She would like to thank Angie Higgins and Doug Brook for taking a chance on this unique interpretation, as well as her amazing cast and crew who went above and beyond to bring this vision to life. GO TEAM UNICORN.
Tonya is thrilled to get to help direct this amazingly talented cast. Armed with an embarrassing amount of reality & pop culture knowledge, Tonya takes her role of sitting next to Doll and saying “omg this would be HILARIOUS” very seriously. When Tonya isn’t being a glitter unicorn, she can be found frolicking with her puppy, feasting on cheese fries, and fighting the patriarchy.
Christina returns for her sixth season with SVS. Recent Bay Area work includes assistant stage managing City Lights Theater Company’s productions of Frankenstein and Ideation, stage managing the Pennygaff Stage at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair and SVS’s touring production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. She also works as a freelance Properties Designer and Stage Hand. Christina earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Jose State University.
co-Stage Manager, Master Electrician
Louis Stone-Collonge returns as this season’s Technical Director and Build Intern Mentor. He is founder of The Audacity Performing Arts Project; producing 10+ plays and musicals per year in South Bay schools many at reduced or zero cost to the communities they serve. Louis is also Theatre Technical Director for Notre Dame High School in San Jose. He is endowed with an amazing personality that many have found devastatingly charming.
Adam has worked with SVS since 2008. Some of his favorite SVS productions include Pride and Prejudice, Pericles, The Imaginary Invalid, and As You Like It. He has also designed several shows at Broadway West, including The Passion of Dracula and The Children’s Hour. He was last seen onstage at Broadway West in And Then There Were None (Lombard), and A Few Good Men (Cpl. Howard).
Ting Na Wang
Ting Na is a Taiwanese-native scenic designer, painter and props designer of the Bay Area since 2013. Her recent design credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost and The Tempest with Silicon Valley Shakespeare, One flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Catch-22 with Los Atos Stage Company, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Alice in Wonderland (opens in July) with Los Altos Youth Theatre, and Too Much, Too Much, Too Many with Dragon Productions.
Hair & Makeup Designer
Melissa Weinstein is delighted to return for her 11th season! Previous SVS design credits include The Tempest, Comedy of Errors, The Three Musketeers, Pride and Prejudice, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, Pericles, Julius Caesar, and more, and she looks forward to designing the upcoming productions of Hamlet and Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club. Designer/artist credits elsewhere also include Pixar, Disney Channel UK, Opera San Jose, and West Bay Opera. Additionally, Melissa is an actor and is also SVS’ Education Director.
Bob Smay returns for a third season with SVS here in Bramhall Park. The rest of the year Bob is the union stage electrician at the California Theater in downtown San José.
This is Amy’s second production with SVS, and is thrilled to be back. After graduating from SJSU with a BA in Theater Arts, Amy became involved in the Bay Area theater scene. For the past 25 years, she has directed, acted, produced and designed for various theater companies. In her spare time, Amy enjoys teaching theater, crossword puzzles and all things Harry Potter.
The Merry Wives of Windsor – Rated E for Everyone
This piece is specifically designed to be fun for the whole family! There should be no material that would cause concern. Parents who are curious about the content of this play can read a version that’s very similar to our script here.
About the Family Rating System
Silicon Valley Shakespeare makes theatrical classics enjoyable and accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Families love to attend our plays, and we’re proud to introduce thousands of young people to the Bard.
To assist parents and guardians in assessing which of our plays are right for their children, our Family Rating System features a general rating for each production followed by a more nuanced recommendation and description of the play’s content.
Our assessment can’t fit every family, so we also provide a link to the actual text of our plays whenever possible so that parents can make their own decision. Our ratings are:
E (Everyone) — Suitable for all ages.
PG (Parental Guidance) — Appropriate for most audiences under 13, but we recommend that parents inform themselves about the content of the play and its themes, and exercise their best judgment for their individual child.
T (Teen) — Might be inappropriate for audiences under 13. Parents of younger children are welcome to attend with their children, but we recommend that they prepare for questions their children might have about some of the more sophisticated and mature content and themes of the play, and its particular presentation.
M (Mature) — Not recommended for audiences under 17.
About very young children: Infants and toddlers are always welcome at our outdoor performances. We’re thrilled to offer newer parents an opportunity to enjoy live theatre! We ask that at least one parent or guardian be prepared to take a break with these tiny theatergoers out of earshot of the theatre space, if they become upset or very vocal.
Sponsored in Part by
San José City Councilmember
Devora “Dev” Davis
BECOME A MEMBER
Enjoy ticket discounts, special events, cozy blankets and seat cushions, free beverages, and other great perks. All while you help support SVS – it’s 100% tax-deductible. Become a Member today!