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Innovating, Illuminating, and Inspiring audiences and artists since 1999

Silicon Valley Shakespeare was formed in 1999 by Sara Betts, Dinna Myers, and Jeff Day as Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company. The company was dedicated to providing more opportunities for artists to perform and audiences to experience Shakespeare and other classic works.

The company started with an annual budget of $1,100 and the dedication of our dynamic leaders and core volunteers. Now, it has expanded to include a full season of four theatrical offerings in three venues, and a vibrant education program for youth and teens, with an annual budget of over $200,000. Learn more about our past productions and landmark moments, below, and about our  mission and vision.

Landmark Moments


1999

The Company forms and launches its first production in Palo Alto.

2000

Incorporates and achieves 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

2002

Launches Free Shakespeare in Sanborn Park in Saratoga.

2005

Expands to a two-show repertory season.

Awarded Runner Up for Best Local Theatre Company by Metro Readers Best in Arts and Culture.

2006

The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Angie Higgins, wins Wave Magazine‘s Silicon Valley Theatre Award for Standout Classical Production.

2007

Larry Barrott succeeds Sara Betts as Artistic Director.

2010

Expands to offering a third production, in an indoor venue.

Education Program is formed, launching a Shakespeare Camp for Youth and Teens.

2011

The Imaginary Invalid, directed by Shawn Andrei, wins Wave Magazine‘s Silicon Valley Small Venue Theatre Award for Costume Design by Rosie Ricca.

2012

Education Program launches in-school educational outreach program Takin’ It to the Schools.

King Lear, directed by Angie Higgins, wins the Wave Magazine‘s Silicon Valley Small Theatre Award for Standout Classical Production.

2013

Launches Shakespeare San José in Willow Street Park.

Vera Sloan succeeds Larry Barrott as Artistic Director.

2014

Launches internship program, for high school and college students to gain hands-on acting or technical experience.

Forms a cooperative partnership with the San José State University Department of TV, Film, Radio, and Theatre.

Angie Higgins succeeds Vera Sloan as Artistic Director.

2015

Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company becomes Silicon Valley Shakespeare.

Doug Brook succeeds Dinna Myers as Executive Director.

The Comedy of Errors is recognized with four finalists for Theatre Bay Area Awards.


2016

Education Program offers its first recurring, in-school after school program.

Produces its first touring production, remounting the free Shakespeare in the Park production at Central Park, in San Mateo.

Julius Caesar and The Three Musketeers are named Theatre Bay Area Recommended Productions.

2017

San José City Council presents a special commendation to SVS for its years of bringing the arts to the community and, in particular, to its youth.

Hires first full-time staff position, as Managing Director.

2018

Much Ado About Nothing and The Hood of Sherwood are simultaneously named Theatre Bay Area Recommended Productions.

Larry Barrott, resident fight director and artistic director emeritus, is a finalist for a Theatre Bay Area Award for fight choreography, for the world premiere of The Hood of Sherwood.

2019

SVS joins Buck Hill Productions in co-producing ShakesBEERience, bringing several one-night only performances to Cafe Stritch in San José.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is named a Theatre Bay Area Recommended Production.

At Montalvo Arts Center, SVS produces a second SVS summer camp and a one night only encore of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Macbeth and The White Snake are simultaneously named Theatre Bay Area Recommended Productions.

Drew Benjamin Jones and Sara Renée Morris (for Macbeth) and Evelyn Huynh (for The White Snake) are finalists for the Theatre Bay Area Awards in the acting categories.

Hires first full-time Development Manager, Melissa Jones.

2020

SVS responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with a rapid shift to offering varied online programming.

SVS introduces ShakesPod, a new series of online audio podcasts.


2021

Annalisa Tkacheff succeeds Doug Brook as Executive Director.

Hires first full-time Marketing Director, Laura Domingo.