Revenge killings. Political corruption. No, these aren’t stories from tonight’s TV news, but from the centuries-old plays of William Shakespeare. After all these years, how does the Bard manage to stay so cutting edge? "Even though he’s so dead, Shakespeare cuts to the quick about what it is to be human," says Valley Shakespeare Festival cofounder Lisa Tromovitch. "Jealous murders, racism—society is still grappling with all of it."
Serious issues aside, puttin’ on the Bard can still be great fun. The Valley Shakespeare Festival pairs plays with fine wine and the great outdoors. Tromovitch and cofounders Gabriel Campbell and Jenny Lynn have enjoyed big hits with their first two single-production seasons in the Livermore wine country.
For its third season, the Festival is adding some new voices. In addition to Shakespeare (As You Like It, July 22—August 14 at Retzlaff Estate Winery), it will offer William Luce’s The Belle of Amherst (April 8—17 in Pleasanton) and Mark St. Germain’s The Gifts of the Magi (December 9—22 in Dublin).
For tickets, visit www.valleyshakes.org.