The city will host San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park production of the Bard’s inventive fairytale Cymbeline for three weekends, beginning July 23.
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday evenings through Aug. 7.
This summer, the production will return to its previous location at 4301 Black Ave., on the corner of Black Avenue and Santa Rita Road.
Cymbeline includes many familiar Shakespeare elements — forbidden love, mistaken identities, banishment and a magic potion.
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival resident director Kenneth Kelleher returns to direct this tale of the virtuous Princess Innogen and her struggles against the devious schemes of her wicked stepmother.
Although the play takes place in ancient times (about 10-14 A.D.), the production is not set in a specific time period. Instead, it reflects the timeless world of fairytales as it follows the colorful and magical journey of Princess Innogen. In an effort to escape the evil queen’s devices, she flees to the forest in disguise and finds her "happily-ever-after" as she reunites with her family and Posthumous, the man she loves.
Kelleher has directed Free Shakespeare in the Park since 2003, including Love’s Labours Lost, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Pericles, The Comedy of Errors and Two Gentlemen of Verona. He is the recipient of two Dean Goodman awards for outstanding direction and is known for his ability to convey the timeless qualities of Shakespeare's works to contemporary audiences without compromising the integrity of the text.
San Francisco Shakespeare Festival fans will recognize a number of familiar faces in this summer’s production. Chris Ayles, who played Holofernes in the 2003 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost, returns in the role of Cymbeline.
Brian Herndon (Iachimo) most recently played Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (2009), and Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona (2010). Emily Jordan (Innogen) appeared as Hippolyta and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2007), Thaisa and Diana in Pericles (2008) and as Silvia and Panthene in Two Gentlemen of Verona (2010). She is a member of the Resident Teaching Artist Company for Bay Area Shakespeare Camps.
Julian Lopez-Morillas (Belarius) played Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (2004) and Prospero in The Tempest (2006). Craig Marker (Posthumus/Cloten) appeared as Longaville in Love’s Labour’s Lost (2003). Sharon Huff (Queen) has appeared in Shakespeare On Tour productions of Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and The Tempest and is a member of the Resident Teaching Artist Company for Bay Area Shakespeare Camps.
Carl Holvick-Thomas (Arviragus/Lord) performed in the title role of Shakespeare On Tour’s Hamlet and is a member of the Resident Teaching Artist Company for Bay Area Shakespeare Camps. Caitlyn Louchard (Pisanio) was a teaching artist at Bay Area Shakespeare Camps.
Admission is free. Audiences are invited to bring blankets and picnics.
For more information, call the City of Pleasanton Department of Parks & Community Services at 925-931-5340.