In 1989, a small troupe of Shakespeare enthusiasts sought to reestablish an outdoor summer Shakespeare festival at Dominican College’s Forest Meadows Amphitheatre. They wanted to bring the drama, poetry and fun of Shakespeare back to Marin for all to share. Seeking dynamic leadership, the group invited Robert Currier and Lesley Schisgall Currier to come to Marin to create the new Marin Shakespeare Company.
Since then, the Company has become one of Marin’s foremost cultural assets and a beloved summertime event, as well as a provider of year-round educational programs. It has achieved status as a major player in the West Coast Shakespeare scene and is the North Bay’s only professional Shakespeare company. As one of Marin’s most successful performing arts organizations it typically entertains audiences of over 10,000 theatregoers each summer. The Company also provides learning experiences for more than 4,000 students each year through summer camps, training programs, in-school classes, after-school classes and special programs like the Teen Touring Company.
In 2003, the Company offered its first Shakespeare class at San Quentin State Prison. Since then, the Company has developed a Drama Therapy-inspired curriculum and has provided programs in up to 14 California State prisons, as well as Alameda Juvenile Hall. Participants of these programs have reported they have dropped out of gangs, pursued higher education, and reunited with family members. In 2016, the Returned Citizens Theatre Troupe was formed to give people who have survived incarceration the opportunity to tell their stories through theatre. The Company works to raise visibility about the devastating effects of mass incarceration in the U.S. through these programs.
Marin Shakespeare Company’s new permanent home at 514 Fourth Street in San Rafael is a Center for Performing Arts, Education, and Social Justice serving the people of Marin County, the San Francisco Bay Area, and beyyond.
The original Marin Shakespeare Festival, founded by John and Ann Brebner, produced outdoor Shakespearean theatre at the Ross Art and Garden Center for 6 seasons from 1961 to 1967. That year the Forest Meadows amphitheatre was built for the Shakespeare Festival where it remained until 1973. In 2001, Marin Shakespeare Company celebrated the 40th anniversary of the founding of California’s first outdoor Shakespeare festival.
|For a glimpse of the casts, notes and images of past productions, look at our highlights, listed by year as well as by play.|
Over the years, Marin Shakespeare has played to acclaim from many sources. We are pleased to present some of our awards and memorable moments.
|We would like to share some of the highlights of past and present events, ranging from receptions for Kenneth Braunaugh, to Baja Shakes and Good Will Feasts.|