As You Like It - summer 2000
As You Like It - summer 2010
The Curtain Theatre is a non-profit organization based in Mill Valley, California. Since summer 2000 it has produced free theatre in Old Mill Park with an emphasis on Shakespeare. It does so out of love for great drama, and in the belief that such gatherings of audience and artists add immeasurably to the quality of life in the community. Its productions, in Mill Valley’s Old Mill Park, bring the historical texts alive with fine acting, live music, dance, colorful sets and costumes. The shows take advantage of a unique amphitheater, nestled in the redwoods, and are designed to appeal to both first-time viewers as well as theatre buffs.
Curtain experience of As You Like It was the very definition of "sylvan" - Check out the Merriam-Webster word of the day 11/9/2010:
Sylvan: abounding in woods, groves, or trees: wooded
Example: "Although the redwoods and natural light help a great deal with the ambiance, Steve Coleman's painted set conjures a lovely sylvan setting, with mossy-trunked cutout trees, a quaint little cottage in the foreground and a fairytale castle in the distance."
— From a review of As You Like It, September 1, 2010 Marin IJ.
Our organization was formed in 2000 by John Leonard, a local community arts activist, Steve Coleman, an accomplished set designer and Mill Valley resident, and grew under the leadership of artistic director Mikel Clifford - one of the founders of the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival. Clifford directed the first five productions beginning with As You Like It (pictured above). She moved to Minnesota in 2004, but remains a supporter of the group. Susannah Rose Woods, another accomplished director and theatre educator,led the 2005-7 productions of Love's Labor's Lost, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night. Local director Julianna Rees-Cleaveland and fight director Joe Lucas took the helm for Romeo and Juliet in 2008. The company celebrated its tenth anniversary in summer 2009 with a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors—called A Hot Day in Ephesus—which was created by company member Victoria Siegel and was directed by Patricia Inabnet.
Live, acoustic music has been a central element of the Curtain’s vision; Don Clark has arranged or composed most of the music, which he performs with the aid of on-stage band.
In summer 2010, longtime company member Michele Delattre took the helm as artistic director with a return to As You Like It followed by Merry Wives of Windsor (2011) and Much Ado About Nothing (2012). In summer 2013 the company stretched its wings on two fronts: company choreographer Steve Beecroft and Marin director Carl Jordan joined forces to produce (in partnership with Marin Onstage) a rock-and-roll musical, Return to the Forbidden Planet, based on characters from Shakespeare's Tempest. The musical ran indoors at Tamalpais High School's beautiful Caldwell Theatre. It was such a success that they restaged in January 2014 using the Novato Theatre space. In the park, the Curtain explored great theatre beyond Shakespeare in a production of King Stag by the 18th century Italian playwright, Carlo Gozzi. This introduced another new director to the Curtain company, Doyle Ott, an expert in masked comedy traditions.
Doyle returned in summer 2014 to help design the opening storm scene for Michele Delattre's production of the Tempest. In summer 2015 Carl Jordan directed Taming of the Shrew and he will return in summer 2016 to direct Comedy of Errors.
The park shows are produced by a band of volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering on some aspect of production (house, set building, costuming, backstage tech) drop Michele a line at firstname.lastname@example.org