Like you, those of us at Silicon Valley Shakespeare are experiencing a singular year. Between shifts in our state legislature and the COVID-19 global pandemic, it seems like the only constant has been change.
SVS has weathered change before. We’ve faced stolen trailers, medical emergencies, venue insecurity, and the wrath of Mother Nature herself, with unseasonal downpours, fallen trees, and sets toppled by wind. Through it all, we’ve adapted, grown, and continued to throw open the doors of opportunity to our community—thanks to you, our family.
Since our inception, SVS has always existed as an art-forward, accessibility-first organization, dedicated to providing free and low-cost, professionally oriented theatre opportunities to our communities, with money as a necessary-but-secondary byproduct of the process. We’re driven by service, not profit, and have remained firm in that give-back to our communities, even if that business model may hinder us financially and occasionally slow our ability to grow. Because we’re so focused on what we give, we get a little antsy talking about money and putting out hard numbers to ask for what we need.
Today, more than ever, we need your help.
Starting now, we’re launching our Critical Relief Fund—a $90,000, far-reaching fundraising campaign.
This is our most ambitious fundraising goal yet, but with your help, we will make it happen. Together, these funds will provide continued employment for our tireless staff members, allow us to remain rooted here in the Bay Area, and ensure that we, like Henry V, “outlive this day, and come safe home” when it is safe to do so.
And we will return. Though we be but little, we are fierce.
If you can, please donate now, in any amount, or learn how you can become an advocate for SVS by sharing your time and talents with us, rousing your own communities of friends and family to donate, or simply spreading the word.
In the practice of openness, here are some numbers we’re proud to share:
Over the last 22 years, we’ve invested in our communities by giving away the equivalent value of over $1.56 MILLION in free admission. We’ve brought together approximately 92,000 patrons over our lifetime, and nearly 60% have attended entirely for free. These include low-income families who struggle to find affordable, family-oriented enrichment activities; theatregoers who are brand-new to Shakespeare or even to theatre as a whole; District Councilmembers who literally sit side-by-side with their constituents; students and educators, friends, neighbors, and total strangers. Public parks are great equalizers, and we activate these often-underutilized public spaces to unite people in a unique, unifying cultural event that builds communities, neighborhoods, and families; an event whose entire purpose is to bring people together.
And now, we’re asking you—our “band of brothers”—to come together.
You are our greatest comrades-in-arms, and we’re eternally grateful for your support, generosity, and passion.
So (with apologies to Shakespeare):
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry “God for theatre, SVS, and all!”
Together, the day will be ours.
With gratitude and love,
– We few, we happy few
(Angie, Annalisa, April, Doll, Doug, Kevin, Melissa, and Tonya)