SVS co-produces ShakesBEERience, the popular “a pub, a pint, and a play” series of FREE Shakespeare staged readings, directed by John McCluggage, former associate artistic director at San Jose Rep. Since its start in 2013, ShakesBEERience has regularly included numerous performers familiar to SVS audiences. Our partnership began with a performance in March, 2019 at ShakesBEERience’s regular home, Cafe Stritch in downtown San Jose.
Due to COVID-19, our ShakesBEERience performance of The Comedy of Errors has been postponed until further notice.
Professional actors will unpack the language in a playful, unique, and accessible way in an easy-going, and entertaining environment while you drink, eat and generally have a good time! Whether you come for the whole staged reading, or just stay for one scene, the ShakesBEERience you have is up to you.
ShakesBEERience San Jose is a series of staged readings which are free and open to theater lovers, pub lovers, pint lovers and those who are just curious. No reservations necessary, admission is free, seating first come first served! Previous events have played to standing room only. Doors open at 5pm.
Monday, October 5, 2020- Othello
Previous 2019 ShakesBEERiences…
October 7, 2019- Titus Andronicus
May 21, 2019 – The Merry Wives of Windsor
March 12, 2019 – Henry IV
and many others…
About Sanborn Park
What time are the performances?
All performances of Shakespeare in Sanborn Park begin at 7pm.
How long is the performance?
Sanborn Park has a curfew requiring all participants (audience, performers, and staff) to leave the park by 10 pm. Therefore, all performances end at or before 9:30 pm.
How much are tickets?
Tickets for Shakespeare in Sanborn Park are $25, with discounts available for students, seniors, and SVS members. Youth 17 years of age and under attend for FREE, with a paid adult admission. Children still need a reserved ticket, to guarantee seat availability.
Where can I buy tickets?
Tickets for all productions are available here. Due to the limited capacity of the space, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance. All ticket holders need to check in at the Box Office upon arrival. Online Ticket holders are asked to present their online confirmations to receive physical tickets. People purchasing tickets at the park can pay with cash, Visa or Mastercard (cellular data access permitting), or a check made out to Silicon Valley Shakespeare.
What about parking?
Parking at Sanborn Park is $6 per vehicle. There is limited lighting in the parking lots after performances, so you might consider bringing a small flashlight.
Is the seating reserved?
Seating in Sanborn Park is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The house opens for seating at approximately 6:30pm, though those of you in our Donors Circle get earlier access. At that time, you can claim your seats with a blanket and then continue to enjoy a picnic in the park.
All seating consists of gray folding chairs with padded seats and backs.
Will there be food available at the show?
We have a well-stocked concessions stand where you can purchase wine, water, snacks, cookies, candy, and both cold and hot beverages, perfect for complementing a picnic you bring for before the performance.
Can I drop my child off at the park and pick him or her up after the show?
Children must be supervised at all times. SVS asks that at least one adult be present for every six children in attendance. If you choose to drop a teenager off, note that Sanborn Park closes for entry at sunset and you cannot drive into the park later to retrieve your child. Cellular phone service in the park is very limited, so your child will not be able to reach you if they wish to leave early. Silicon Valley Shakespeare is not responsible for any child left unattended.
Is Shakespeare in the Park a dress-up affair?
Not at all! The performance is outdoors in a park where the terrain is primarily dirt and gravel. We recommend wearing shoes that let you walk safely to and from the theatre (high heels are not a good choice). The weather can change quickly, so we recommend that you bring something warm to put on later in the evening. If you bring/wear a hat we request that it be one that won’t obstruct someone else’s view.
What about dogs?
Well-socialized dogs on a leash are welcome, but we ask owners to choose seats on the left side of the audience, closest to the creek. This lets people with allergies or fear of dogs to keep a suitable distance. Exceptions can be made for qualified service dogs.
Are the plays appropriate for children?
We pride ourselves on providing entertainment for the entire family. Due to graphic content inherent in many of Shakespeare’s works, we recommend parents familiarize themselves with the plays and determine if they are appropriate for your particular child. To assist parents we have provided a rating system (see the Family Rating Page).
Can we bring a picnic?
Of course! There are several areas in the park to enjoy a picnic. If you come early to picnic, we recommend you have someone get in line 30-45 minutes before the performance to reserve seats, then return to finish your picnic. Peterson Grove, though conveniently located, is available to our patrons only if there is no wedding or other event present. Other picnic tables are available, just up the hill. When you walk out of the parking lot, turn left.
What are those cool thrones in the back of the theatre? How can I sit there?
Royal Seating is an exclusive SVS experience! Extra-comfortable seats, a private seating area, a designated usher pre-show and at intermission – this is the lap of luxury for your evening’s entertainment.
Available primarily to members of our Royal Court, though some are available for purchase at some performances. You can become a member of our Royal Court, or ask about upgrading at the Box Office if you see those seats are empty.
Will you be passing the hat at Sanborn Park?
SVS does not pass the hat at ticketed performances. However, if you wish to make a donation to continue to support Shakespeare in the Park, and to help us keep it free for kids, there is a donation box in the concession area. Checks can be made out to Silicon Valley Shakespeare.
Henry IV — Rated T for Teen
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.
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 part of our Donors Circle today!