The fifth production of D.I.Y. Shakespeare: community members pitching in to put on an actor-produced collaboration for the West Marin Community.
With your pledge, you are purchasing admission to the show - as always, KIDS are FREE!!
For the origin story, read below:
Mother's Day, 2015: the week prior I had just completed my humble first foray into self-producing a small theatre performance in West Marin. In my post-show doldrums, I told my husband that as a Mother's Day gift, I wanted to go and check out the site of an old and never-used amphitheater space in Inverness that was supposedly hidden on the grounds of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church. Told to me previously with mythical reverence, this alleged location on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. was imprinted in his early memories when he attended his brothers’ middle school graduation there. A beautiful spot – but nobody uses it!
Their Sunday service had just gotten out when we pulled into their driveway. Eventually a kindly lady approached what must have looked like a really strange couple tangled in the overgrown and dried out vegetation wandering the church property. When we asked, we were told that yes indeed there was an amphitheater buried in the weeds, and that they would love to revitalize it, but did not have the resources or people with the skills and machinery to get such a project going. At that moment, I realized what I needed to do. No question about it. I immediately started discussions with the rector and church members and we all agreed: this place will get cleaned up and restored and I will produce a play there in three months’ time~!
The amphitheater at St. Columba’s was designed and built in 1965 by Jack Mason (1911-1985), the beloved West Marin historian, writer and retired newspaper editor with deep roots in Inverness. It was built to host the West Marin Music Festival and for years gifted the Inverness hills with wafted symphonic works as well as opera! After a few wonderful years, the Festival changed venues and the amphitheater area became neglected. It lapsed back into a wild land with the plywood platform stage and most of the long bench seating turning back into earth. Our first crowdfunding effort was successful, as were the subsequent ones and I am proud to say that several in the town have already referred to the annual Shakespeare plays there as a “West Marin Tradition”. This gorgeous spot is directly across from Tomales Bay and sits on a gently up-sloping meadow, providing an idyllic atmosphere for picnicking and play-watching.
With great thanks to Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, PhD., the Bishop's Committee and the congregants of St. Columba's, I am preparing for the fifth production at the site. Thank you to all who have supported so enthusiastically and generously the previous plays: Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. With this year's cast and artistic team, including David Abrams as Director, As You Like It is looking to be another fantastic show!
Performances will be August 24, 25; August 31, Sept. 1 & 2 at 4pm.
Your pledge reward will grant you admission. No need to choose which date at the time of pledging.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
As usual, we plan to put this on in a very fast time frame; a breakneck speed for the actors to learn their parts and for all of us to dial in any technical requirements. This aspect is probably the most challenging part of this venture and I am looking for some great support for anyone out there that wants to help paint, weed, run the concessions, house manage and/or cut, paste, hot glue and staple!
One of the main reasons people go to theatre is the live shared experience: the true connection an actor can have with an audience. A recent study concluded that when at the theatre, the audience’s hearts all beat as one!
Many of these risks and challenges fold into the beautiful spontaneity of live performance – that with your generous support will enrich our local cultural landscape for another summer!
I can’t express my gratitude enough to all of the friends and neighbors who have stepped in, lent a hand over the years and truly made these productions something to behold! Be it folks contributing their sewing skills to construct and decorate costumes, prop builders, and people that lend us their strange curios gathering dust in their garages…people hiking out to our local beaches to bring us seaweed to set dress a craggy seascape or hauling some crisp-white shirt sleeves to Shell II to get appropriately “distressed” in some extra sloughy mud. Builders who volunteer their time and skills to help construct our sets! From the seamstress who has made fantastic and adorable costumes for the kids in the cast to the amazing couple up the hill from me who lent their large truck for conveyance of very large set pieces, and who tolerated all kinds of gewgaws being doorbell ditched for emergency hand sewing in the early mornings of tech week.
The list can go on and on…it is humbling to see how these productions have grown over the years – a testament to the generous hearts and talents in our community!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)